Chocolate Eclair

A while back I made some chocolate Eclairs as celebration for a much awaited win of my sporting team.  This was my first time making choux pastry and I was a bit nervous how it would turn out.  But after the croissant challenge this was much easier than expected.

Chocolate Eclair with Grand Marnier cream
Choux pastry mix
50 mL whole milk
50 mL water
1 ounce (30g) unsalted butter
dash teaspoon sugar
dash teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Boil the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a pot.  Once boiled, add the sifted flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and stir. 

The dough will come together slowly as you stir.  Continue to keep the pot on the stove till the mixture becomes a shiny, smooth dough. 

Take the pot off the stove and continue to mix with an electric hand mixer.  Add each egg one at a time while continuing to mix till the dough becomes shiny and smooth again.  The dough should be at a consistency that it maintains its form for a few minutes.  The dough should be cool enough by now to pipe so put in bag straight away. I use Ateco piping bag which is quite heat resistant but if you are using just an everyday plastic bag you may want to wait till the mixture is warm but not hot to the touch.  Pipe out the mixture on baking paper into long stripes or little balls depending on the shape you want.  Remember that the eclairs will be filled so you don't want it to be too thin.  Put the pastry in an oven that has been pre-warmed to 375oF and bake for 10 minutes.  The eclairs should just start tanning when they are done.  Put on a mesh tray to allow the pastry to cool.

Grand Marnier custard filling
250 mL of milk
60 gm caster sugar 
25g cornflour
1 egg
1 tbsp grand marnier

While the pastry is cooling in a pot melt the sugar in milk and slowly blend in the corn flour till the mixture starts to thicken.  Take off the stove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the egg while consistently mixing.  Add the 1tbsp grand marnier to flavour.  Put the mixture into a piping bag with a small long tip attached.  Pipe the mixture into the choux pastry; you may need to pipe from both ends to ensure consistent custard filling.  I prefer this method but you can also cut the pastry in half and make a choux pastry sandwich.

Dark chocolate sauce
50 g 70% dark chocolate (Valrhona Guanjana) 
15 g  heavy cream

White chocolate sauce
50 g white chocolate (Valrhona) 
10 g  heavy cream

In a double boiler melt the dark chocolate and slowly stir in the heavy cream till the mixture is smooth.  Dip the now cooled pastry and smooth over to get a nice chocolate glaze.

Put the white chocolate sauce in a piping bag and drizzle over the chocolate eclairs to cover or decorate as you like.

Overall the French liked the eclairs.  However my chocolate glaze was too strong in flavour and blocked out any hint of the grand marnier custard filling.  Next time I will probably double the grand marnier or else try a different glaze.

Oh and the team responsible for my midnight eclair - Congratulation Pies!

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