How to Make Eclairs

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  1. Prepare choux pastry. Pipe onto a baking mat and bake the pastries. Prick with a toothpick to let the air escape either as it’s cooking or as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  2. Let the pastry fully cool. Prepare pastry cream. You can choose any type of pastry cream – salted caramel pastry cream, raspberry mousse, vanilla pastry cream, coffee pastry cream, etc.
  3. Pipe chilled pastry cream on top of the choux pastry or inside of it. You can also cut the choux pastry in half and then pipe the pastry cream so it sits in the middle.
  4. Prepare the topping – this could be chocolate ganache, salted caramel sauce, etc.
  5. Pipe the topping onto the pastry.
  6. The pastry is complete, or continue piping other toppings – buttercream and a chocolate decoration.
  7. Serve within 1 day of preparing.
How to Make Eclairs

What is Éclair filling made of

Éclair filling is made of pastry cream. Pastry cream is made by tempering eggs and adding hot cream. Pastry cream is very delicate, and needs to be made slowly. Otherwise, the eggs will cook and ruin your pastry cream. Just in case some of the eggs do cook a little, it’s best to strain your pastry cream before letting it chill in the fridge.

What is the difference between a cream puff and an éclair

The difference between a cream puff and an éclair is that they are piped in different shapes. Both an éclair and a cream puff use choux pastry. They are light, fluffy, and an airy pastry. Éclairs have both a filling and a topping, whereas a cream puff may only have a filling.

What is chocolate éclair sauce

Chocolate éclair sauce is made of chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache for éclairs is a topping that hardens onto the choux pasty. Chocolate éclair sauce is made by adding warm heavy cream to small pieces of the chocolate. The mixture is combined until it’s smooth and then it can be used once it’s cooled down to room temperature. You don’t want to use the chocolate éclair sauce when it’s too warm, otherwise it will be too hot to adhere to the choux pastry.

What is Éclair sauce

Éclair sauce is the topping that goes on the highest choux pastry. Éclairs can be topped with many different foods including salted caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, or other types of icing.

What is Éclair dough called

Éclair dough is called choux pastry. Choux pastry is made of dough that is cooked over medium heat in a saucepan. Once all of the flour is incorporated and cooked for a few minutes, the dough is transferred to a stand mixer. While the dough is mixing with the dough hook, the eggs are added one at a time until the dough becomes shiny and silky. Then the éclair dough is ready to be piped and baked.

How do you prevent eclairs from deflating

You can prevent eclairs from deflating by poking a toothpick into the dough as it is baking. Poke the dough near the end of the baking cycle. Poke the eclairs again as they are cooling out of the oven. Poking the dough will release the steam, which means that the steam will not be retained by the pastry. If the steam is retained within the dough, it will make the dough collapse onto itself with the trapped moisture seeping into the pastry.

Do unfilled cream puffs need to be refrigerated

Unfilled cream puffs do not need to be refrigerated. However, if you do refrigerate unfilled cream puffs, this will prevent the cream puffs from again as quickly. You can use your refrigerated unfilled cream puffs for 2-3 days after baking.

When should you fill cream puffs

You should fill cream puffs right before serving. The longer the pastry cream sits on the choux pastry, the more soggy it will become. By only filling the cream puffs right before serving, the pastry will be light and airy.

Can you freeze cream puffs that are filled

You can freeze cream puffs that are filled for up to one month in the freezer. Thaw the cream puffs in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat them.

Can I make choux pastry the day before?

You can make choux pastry dough up to 3 days in advance. The choux pastry dough will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. Pipe and bake your choux pastry and use the baked choux pastry within 1-2 days. Choux pastry is better served the same day it is baked. The fresher the better.

What is the difference between an éclair and a Long John?

The difference between an éclair and a Long John is that a Long John is made with dough prepared with yeast, and then the dough is deep fried, whereas an éclair is made with choux pastry and then is baked in the oven. Both a Long John and an éclair are filled with pastry cream and chocolate icing on the top of them.

How do you prevent eclairs from deflating

Éclair Filling Recipe

One of our favorite éclair fillings is our Salted Caramel Cream Filling Recipe. It’s easiest to prepare pastry cream éclair fillings the day before because they need chilling time. Then the next day when you’re assembling your éclairs, you can put the éclair filling in a piping bag, and fill all of your éclairs without having to wait for your cream to be chilled.

Salted Caramel Cream Filling

How to make salted caramel cream filling for cakes, cream puffs, etc.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Yield: 3 cups

Materials

  • 3/4 cup sugar granulated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature

Instructions

  • Place sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a spatula until it turns into a golden amber color.
  • Slowly stream the heavy cream into the saucepan and whisk vigorously. The caramel with bubble and potentially splash you. Be careful to stand back as you add the cream and stir until fully combined.
  • Add milk, salt and vanilla bean paste to the saucepan. Let it heat until just before it starts boiling (1-2 bubbles).
  • While you're waiting for your cream to heat up, in a separate large bowl, place egg yolks, egg and cornstarch. Whisk them together.
  • Temper the eggs by adding the hot cream VERY SLOWLY and whisking vigorously. Do not cook the eggs. Try adding just a small amount ~1 tbsp cream mixture at a time until you feel comfortable adding more. This way, you won't cook your eggs.
  • Place the egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan by straining it through a sieve into the saucepan. This will take out any pieces of egg that may have cooked, leaving you with a smooth mixture. Heat the mixture on medium heat.
  • Whisk the custard while it's heating. You'll know when it's thickened. It will be very difficult to stir the pot, you'll see how thick your custard is when you're stirring it. Once you're happy with the thickness, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add butter and mix until the butter is fully melted and combined into the custard.
  • Chill the custard by putting it in a fresh bowl and adding plastic wrap directly to the custard to prevent it from making a skin. Chill for 2-3 hours until cold. Then it's ready to use!