Chocolate Éclairs

These decadent Chocolate Éclairs are simply the perfect treat. They're indulgent and sheer luxury in your mouth. Long, puffy buns stuffed with cream and topped with rich chocolate icing - what's not to love?

Key Details

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Ingredients

  • 70g plain flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 55g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 5 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • a pinch of cinnamon

For the choux pastry

  • 70g plain flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  • 55g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten

For the filling

  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 5 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste

For the icing

  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to200°C/400°F/gas 6.

Put 120ml water into a medium-sized pan with the salt and butter and heat gently until the butter has completely melted – don’t let the water boil and begin to evaporate. Quickly bring the mixture to the boil and tip in all the flour in one go. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon to make a smooth heavy dough.

Put the pan back on a low heat and beat the dough for about a minute to slightly cook the dough – it should come away from the sides of the pan to make a smooth, glossy ball. Tip the dough into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool until tepid.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, then gradually beat them into the dough with an electric whisk or mixer, or a wooden spoon, beating well after each addition. The dough should be very shiny and paste-like, and fall from a spoon when lightly shaken.

Spoon the pastry into a piping bag and pipe fingers onto a greased baking tray.

Sprinkle the tray, not the pastry, with a few drops of water, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the door, reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325ºF/gas 3 and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

Remove the tray from the oven and carefully make a small hole in the side of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the filling, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until just stiff.

Melt the chocolate and cinnamon in a bain marie and allow it to cool slightly. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before serving.

Once the éclairs have cooled, cut down the length of one side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream.

Melt the chocolate and cinnamon in a bain marie and allow it to cool slightly. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before serving.

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