I love challenges and when my work and everything else is under control I indulge myself in getting challenged in baking. I was in between making eclairs or baked Alaskas since they are considered two of the most difficult desserts. I asked a few friends for what they would prefer and most of them went with eclairs. I had tried to make profiteroles when I was much younger and I had failed. The dough is so difficult to make as if its consistency or the baking temperature are not right they go flat the moment you take them out of the oven. That reminder didn’t stop me. I tried a few recipes before deciding that I am happy with the one I found. With the first I wasn’t happy as they eclairs didn’t rise that much, the second’s problem was that even though the did rise you could taste the egg a lot and the third was too flat in terms of taste. These different recipes helped me kind of get an idea of what it takes to achieve a good eclair. My fourth attempt was a combination of my previous observations.

Each recipe had it’s own creme recipes. I tried vanilla and chocolate ones and even though I only posted a photo of a vanilla eclair I will also give you the recipe for the chocolate cream filling.

Ingredients for the choux:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

120 g butter

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup all purpose flour

6 medium eggs

Ingredients for the vanilla cream filling:

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

2 tbsp flour

4 tbsp corn starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter

Ingredients for the chocolate cream filling:

100 g dark chocolate

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for the chocolate glaze:

100 g dark chocolate

1 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

2 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the choux:

We start by making the choux dough. In a saucepan we bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt into boil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the flour while stirring vigorously. The ingredients will come together while stirring. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes. Beat the eggs by hand and place the mixture in an electric mixer. While the mixer is working and the dough is cooling down start pouring the eggs slowly slowly. You might not need to use all the eggs. The aim is to get a light yellow in color dough that is thick enough to just drop from our spoon. Preheat the oven at 200 C. Once the dough is ready fill in a pipping bag. Pipe out on baking paper the dough as long as you want your eclairs to be. Decrease the temperature at 190 C and place the baking tray in the oven. Bake for 20 mins. Check the choux after about 15 mins. If they have started to get too brown decrease the temperature at 180 C but not less. Even if they look ready they are not. They need to be baked in the inside too so that they don’t get flat once out of the oven. Remove from the oven after 20 mins and let them cool.

For the vanilla cream filling:

Bring the milk into boil while you beat the egg yolks with the sugar in an electric mixer until it gets fluffy white.  Add the flour and corn starch. Keep mixing and pour 1/3 of the milk. Once mixed well return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat while stirring vigorously. The mixture will start to thicken and we need to be careful that it doesn’t get burnt. Add the vanilla and butter until they integrate well. We set aside for it to cool.

 For the chocolate cream filling:

We follow the same process as with the vanilla cream filling with the only difference that instead of the butter we lastly add the chocolate.

For the chocolate glaze:

Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and add one by one all the ingredients. Keep stirring. If it is too runny then add a bit more sugar. Remember that the mixture will thicken once it cools.

Fill chouxs with either the vanilla or the chocolate cream filling. Pour the chocolate glaze while it is still warm. Set aside until it hardens.