Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs

My 2nd Daring Baker’s Challenge! It was much easier than the first! These eclairs turned out wonderfully! Kramer, Morgan, Dane, Wyatt, my mom, and my dad all approved of these incredible pastries. Get this: they’re chocolate eclairs with chocolate pastry cream topped with sprinkles. I froze them too for extra deliciousness. I’ll definitely be making these again! Recipe after the jump!


Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
The ingredients for the pastry dough.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsPierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsPierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Bringing the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Keep beating! The dough comes together quickly.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Add the eggs one at a time.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Get that warm pastry dough into a piping bag!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And pipe them into “chubby fingers”.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Halfway into baking time, the instructions say to keep the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon. Don’t ask! Just do! That’s the Daring Baker’s motto…according to me.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
The plain eclairs! They’re light, fluffy, and deliciously delicate.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Now onto the pastry cream! The recipe calls for dark chocolate, but I used milk chocolate because I had it on hand.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Bring some more milk to a boil.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
In a separate saucepan, combine the egg yolks…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Cornstarch and sugar.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsPierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Temper (slowly raising the temperature) the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Weight out your chocolate.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Melt it…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Then take your thickened pastry cream…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And add the chocolate.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Place in an ice bath.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Now it’s time for the chocolate sauce!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Weight out your chocolate again (this time I used dark chocolate).

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Chop it up.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And add it to the heavy cream, water, and sugar.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Whisk it…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And continue doing so until smooth and slightly thickened.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Now chop up more chocolate…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Melt it with some butter…

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And combine more heavy cream, chocolate, and the chocolate sauce that you made earlier.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
So now you can finally cut the eclairs in half.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Drizzle the top halves with chocolate glaze.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Pipe with the pastry cream and top with the glazed eclair tops!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsPierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
And I topped mine with sprinkles because…I had to.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate ÉclairsPierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
I brought these to my mom’s house for a BBQ and they went over extremely well!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Morgan of Totally Morgan approves of these eclairs!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20-24 eclairs
 
Ingredients
Assembling the éclairs:
  • Cream Puffs (see below for recipe)
  • Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
  • Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)
Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
  • ½ cup (125g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (125g) water
  • 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Chocolate Pastry Cream
  • 2 cups (500g) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
  • 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Chocolate Glaze
  • (makes 1 cup or 300g)
  • ⅓ cup (80g) heavy cream
  • 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature
For the Chocolate Sauce
  • (makes 1½ cups or 525 g)
  • 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 g) water
  • ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup (70 g) sugar
Instructions
Cream Puff Dough
  1. In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the
  2. boil.
  3. 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, it’s supposed to. You
  4. need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.
  5. Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. 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
  6. not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.
  7. The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.
  8. Notes:
  9. Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.
  10. You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.
To Make the Eclairs:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.
  2. Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a ⅔ (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.
  3. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.
  4. Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue
  5. baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Notes:
  7. The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.
For the Chocolate Pastry Cream:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy?bottomed saucepan.
  2. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
  3. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice?water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
  5. Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice?water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice?water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.
Notes:
  1. The pastry cream can be made 2?3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.
  3. Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.
To Fill the Eclairs:
  1. Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the
  2. bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.
  3. The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40 degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the
  4. bottoms with the pastry cream.
  5. Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.
  6. Notes:
  7. If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create bubbles.
  8. The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  2. Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.
  3. Notes:
  4. If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.
  5. It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.
For the Chocolate Sauce:
  1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy?bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
  2. It may take 10?15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
  3. Notes:
  4. ) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
  5. ) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.
Adapted From
Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

 

9 Responses

  1. Hannah says:

    What a great challenge, you did well.
    Love the step by step photos too.

  2. Joanne says:

    They were elegant and delicious. Sydney does everything just perfect, and thats not because I am her Mom. They were wonderful!!!!

  3. sarah says:

    yum! these look absolutely delicious. i made your s’mores cookie bars and carmelized banana brownies w/ PB frosting this weekend and both were huge hits! thank you for such amazing recipes!

  4. ET says:

    LOVE THE STEP BY STEP PHOTOS!
    i’d really refer that. and they look really yummy!
    😀

  5. chef phats (Botswana says:

    i really love the steps

  6. kendallhalin says:

    Your pictures are gone for this one, fyi!

  7. Naviah says:

    Where are the pictures

  8. Thai says:

    I love your blog but the pictures only show up half the time. I’m dying to see!

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