I’ve been meaning to make these for some time now but with the onset of the holidays and the kitchen move, my baking schedule has been way-laid to say the least.
Please do enjoy these éclairs; they are sensual, decadent, deceptively light yet robust, with the full flavored chocolate glaze unifying all the varying sweet notes. The silky vanilla-infused cream finishes the bite with a cleansing quality, beckoning for the next moment to be a repeat of the last.
For the Pate Choux:
2 large eggs + 1 egg white (enough for 2/3 c.)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons half n’ half
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon guar gum
Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, water, half n’ half, sugar and salt over a medium-low flame until the butter has melted completely and the mixture has just come to a gentle boil.
In a small bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients, except the baking powder and stir to combine.
Pour eggs and egg white into a measuring cup, whisk thoroughly, and set aside.
After your butter has come to a boil, add your dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon, using a scraping motion, for three minutes. Once the dough pulls easily from the sides of the pan, and there is a thin veil of butterfat residue on the bottom of the pan, your dough is ready.
Immediately transfer dough to a food processor with the blade attachment and pulse for 20 seconds to cool slightly. Add baking powder to the eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour egg mixture in a slow steady stream into the food processor until you have a thick, smooth sticky paste, about 1 ½ minutes.
Take a pastry bag, fitted with a 1” plain tip and pipe your choux onto your prepared baking sheet, being careful to make them as uniform as possible, about 2 ½ inches long. Take a wet spoon and smooth the tops of the choux and then bake immediately at 425ºF for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 375ºF and bake for 7 minutes more. Do not open the oven door even once during the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the milk and vanilla to a very gentle boil. In the meantime, whisk the sugar and the egg yolks in a separate bowl to the ribbon and set aside. When the milk comes to a boil, immediately temper the egg yolks by pouring the hot milk into the whisked eggs, whisking all the while. Return the custard to the sauce pan and continue heating until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cornstarch and the tapioca flour and whisk until very smooth. When the mixture is quite thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan before transferring to clean bowl to cool completely. Cover with cellophane and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ cup granulated sugar
In a double boiler, combine all ingredients and heat until the butter and chocolate have melted completely. Stir to make sure the mixture is super smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until ready to use. The glaze should be smooth but not at all runny.
To assemble your éclairs, first fill a pastry bag fitted with an extra-fine tip with your prepared pastry cream. Take one of your baked choux, pierce one end with a chopstick, insert the pastry tip into your prepared hole and inject the choux with the pastry cream. Repeat until all of the choux are filled.
Now take your chocolate sauce and carefully ice the tops of your choux so that as few drips occur as possible. Allow your glaze to set before serving.
Serve the same day as your preparation.
Makes 7 Eclairs.