Homemade Éclairs Recipe

Homemade  Éclairs  Recipe
Every family has a signature dish – main or dessert – that they serve for special occasions. My mother always made beautiful éclairs, and my five sisters and I have been making them for special occasions such as weddings and showers for years. We’ve made thousands of miniature éclairs, and our family rules still apply: we never make the shells ahead, and fill them at the last minute. If you’ve ever been to a bakery and ordered an éclair only to find that the shell has been previously frozen and doesn’t have the freshly-baked crisp texture that can be found in real French bakeries, then you know there is something wrong with the bakery. Having spent a lot of time in Paris with my job, I have discovered that the French are very particular about their pastries, and especially their éclairs. They would be appalled at what is passed off as éclairs in the US.
The solution, of course, is to make your own. My sisters and I disagree when it comes to the chocolate frosting and the cream filling, but since I’m writing this article and they’re not, I’ll print my favorite. I am not a pastry cream snob, and admit that I like to use vanilla instant pudding because of how well it holds up when mixed with real whipped cream, and the fact that the mixture isn’t too sweet. A couple of my sisters mix it with frozen whipped topping which is anathema to me (I am snobby in this case and hope you will be too because frozen whipped topping is an official food crime and shouldn’t be consumed – it’s about as appetizing as Tide pods), so I’ll leave it at that. My favorite chocolate topping for my éclairs is a simple ganache (high quality chocolate mixed with heavy cream that has been melted together and whisked until thickened). I don’t always have time for real ganache, so sometimes I melt a can of dark chocolate frosting and dip the tops of the éclairs in it. If you are pretending you are in Paris, you can make ganache from scratch and also pastry cream from scratch, lightening it up with some unsweetened whipped heavy cream. Any way you make them, with freshly made shells, your éclairs will be over the top.

12 Standard Size Éclairs or 24 Miniature Éclairs

1 batch Choux Paste

1 16 oz. can Chocolate frosting or Ganache (recipe below)

1 batch Shortcut Pastry Cream

  1. Pipe the choux paste into 24 logs 3" x 1" or 12 logs about 5” x 1 1/2”.
  2. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Cool.
  3. Microwave the frosting for 30 seconds; stir, then dip the tops of the cooled shells in the melted frosting and let set. Alternately, mix 1 cup high quality dark chocolate and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in a microwave-safe container. Microwave 3 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes; whisk until thick and smooth.
  4. Make a hole in one end of each shell with a skewer, then fill with pastry cream using a plain tip (restaurant supply stores have special tips for filling if you are so inclined). Refrigerate until serving.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 148
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 64% Protein 5% Carb. 31%

Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 16 g 25%
Saturated Fat 9 g 44%
Cholesterol 77 mg 26%
Sodium 141 mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 18 g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Sugars 10 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 1%

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.