Dark Chocolate Eclairs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 cup (227g) water
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons, 113g) unsalted butter
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (149g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 large eggs

Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • 1/2 cup (99g) sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (35g) cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (454g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (43g) King Arthur Triple Cocoa Blend, or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/3 cup (57g) chopped unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup (113g) chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (113g) heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  • To make the éclair shells: Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan, heat until the butter has melted, and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously.
  • Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture smooths out and follows the spoon around the pan; this should take less than a minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes. It'll still feel hot, but you should be able to hold a finger in it for a few seconds. If you have a digital thermometer, the temperature should be below 125°F.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer, and beat in the eggs one at a time; it'll look curdled at first, but when you add the last egg it should become smooth. Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding the last egg.
  • If you have a pastry bag, pipe the batter into 5" logs about 3/4" in diameter. Or simply use a spoon or cookie scoop to drop small mounds of the batter in a 5" line, gently spreading them into one solid pastry.
  • Bake the pastries for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until pastries are a medium golden brown. Don't open the oven door while the pastries are baking.
  • Remove the pastries from the oven. Make a small slit in the top of each, and return them to the oven for 5 minutes, to allow the steam to escape. Place them on a rack to cool. When they're cool enough to handle, split each in half to make top and bottom pieces; splitting and exposing the centers to air will help keep them from becoming soggy.
  • To make the pastry cream: Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the yolks.
  • Bring the milk and cocoa just to a simmer in a saucepan set over medium heat.
  • Pour a quarter of the hot milk/chocolate into the yolk mixture, whisking until incorporated. Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick, and just barely starts to boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth.
  • Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • To make the glaze: Combine the chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl.
  • Heat the cream to simmering, then pour over the chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. If the glaze seems thin, let it cool and set a bit before using.
  • To assemble the éclairs: Pipe or spoon the cream into the pastries, then dip the tops of each one into the glaze. For best results, serve immediately; or refrigerate and serve within several hours.
  • Store any leftover éclairs, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for a few days. They don't freeze well, so enjoy éclairs while they're fresh!
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