Chocolate Eclairs – Light and airy pastry filled with a vanilla cream, and then topped with a chocolate icing. Sure to impress, but way easier than you think to make!
We have been in New Zealand for over a week now. It is amazing, and we are loving it!! I am posting some pictures on Instagram, so follow along if you are interested. Depending on time, I might throw in a Thursday Things post and share some of our trip before we get home. I will do a few different write-ups on the trip once we get home for sure. New Zealand is such a magical place, I wish everyone had the chance to visit. So far we have seen mountains, lakes, oceans, gone on amazing hikes, boat rides, and scenic drives. Plus my husband and son have eaten more fish and chips than I can count! A great start to the trip.
My husband has a few favorite desserts. Creme Brulee is his all time favorite. But cream puffs and pavlova are close behind. I am pretty sure eclairs rank right up there too. He is not a fan of chocolate, but these are close enough to cream puffs that he loves them. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to share this recipe with you. We have been making it for at least 15 years together, so it is nothing new round here. Eclairs are very similar to cream puffs, the start of the recipe is exactly the same. It is just the shape and how you fill them that change.
Eclairs are usually filled with a vanilla pudding. You could make one from scratch if you wanted, but I go easy with a box mix. It is ready in just minutes, no heating or cooking required. There are also 2 different methods you could use to fill them. The pastry is airy and filled with tons of holes on the inside. So you could fill a piping bag with the filling, and just stick a tip in the side to squeeze in the filling. Or you could slice the eclairs length wise, and spoon in the filling. It is all about how you want it to look, because both are easy and effective. Topping the eclairs with melted chocolate is just the icing on the cake. So good, they are super impressive, but are not really that difficult to make. So set aside any fears you have, and get to work. Trust me, you will love the end result!
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 packaged instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 1/2 cups cold milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small saucepan bring water and butter to a boil. Stir in the flour, reducing heat to low. Stir vigorously, over low heat for 1 minute, or until the dough forms a ball. Remove from heat.
- Beat in all of the eggs at once. Continue beating until smooth.
- Fill a piping bag, or a large zip top bag with the pastry batter. Cut off the end, and pipe batter into 4 inch long logs on the baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart.
- With damp fingers, you can smooth out any bumps from the piping.
- Bake for 35-40 minute, until puffed and golden. Cool completely.
- To prepare the filling - In a large bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk together for 2 minutes.
- In bowl of an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Fold whipped cream and pudding together.
- Once pastry is completely cool you can fill them with the filling. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a medium sized plain tip with the filling. Poke a hole in the end of the eclair, and pipe in the filling.
- Once all the eclairs are full prepare the chocolate icing.
- Heat cream to a simmer, but not boiling. Stir in chocolate chips and butter until completely smooth.
- Dip the top of each eclair (or spread the icing over the top) into the chocolate. Set on a baking sheet to let harden.
- Best stored in the fridge, and served chilled.
Looking for even more dessert ideas?