Mini Chocolate Eclairs

The one thing i enjoy about the holidays is that you are always in the mood to eat…especially dessert. As the saying goes “there’s always room for dessert”, that saying is even more true during this time. When i see eclairs, i think of these cute puffy pastries with creamy filling and decadent chocolate glazing. This is French perfection at its best.   So what could be better than eclairs.  Actually it can…mini eclairs!!  The are bite size, delicious and cute- the triple threat haha.  They are small so you dont feel bad eating two…or ten šŸ™‚ I modified the recipe below to make mini eclairs and they were totally YUMMYYYYY!!

Mini Chocolate Eclairs
(make 20-24 full size eclairs, adapted from Pierre Herme)

Choux Paste….as the French call it…pate a choux

1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c water
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 tsp sugar
1/s salt
1 c all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature

Heat the oven to 375 F degrees.

In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, its suppose to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 1-2 minutes to dry out the dough. After this time, the dough will be very soft and smooth.

Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough. You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough will come back together by the time you added the 4th egg. In the end, the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back in to the bowl in a ribbon. Scoup the into a piping bag with a 1 in. tip, then start piping the dough into 4-5 inches long.

Bake the dough for about 20 minutes or until light golden.

Pastry Cream

1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn starch
4 large egg yolk
1 1/3 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 heavy cream

Beat the sugar, flour, cornstarch, egg yolk on high speed until thick and yellow, about 2 minutes.

Heat the milk and vanilla extract in medium heat until almost boiling. Temper the egg yolk mixture by adding 1/3 of the hot milk and whisk continuously. Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the egg mixture into the rest of the hot milk. Place the mixture on medium heat and whisk nonstop until the mixture returns to a boil. The mixture will begin to get thicken. Keep whisking for about 1 to 2 more minutes once the mixture thickens. Cool the custard before filling the eclair.

Beat the heavy cream until soft peak. Then fold it into the cold custard.  I think adding the whipped cream gives the custard a smoother creamier texture.

 Chocolate Glaze

1/2 c heavy cream
3 1/2 oz semi sweet chocolate
4 tsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 c sugar

In a small saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate. Stir gently then add in butter piece by piece. Begin glazing the eclairs. Its best to glaze the eclairs once the glaze is made.

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