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Chocolate Eclairs Recipe

These delicious Chocolate Eclairs are made with crisp choux pastry, filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a decadent Chocolate Ganache. These will disappear in a flash!

How to Make Chocolate Eclairs

The Best Chocolate Eclairs

Did you know why eclairs are called eclairs? Eclairs translated to English mean Flash of Lightening and it’s thought they got their name because they’re eaten so quickly! A famous French Chef is thought to have created the Eclair somewhere between the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Cool story right?

These are the best Chocolate Eclairs and they’ll definitely be gone in a flash. They have all the right textures – crispy, light and airy, creamy, and decadent you may want to make a double batch!

Eclair Variations

Mini Eclairs Recipe – To make these Eclairs into mini Eclairs just pipe smaller amounts of the pastry cream.

Profiteroles Recipe – To make Profiteroles pipe rounds or choux pastry onto a the baking sheet.

What is the difference between Eclairs and Profiteroles?

There is honestly not too much difference except for Profiteroles are round and Eclairs are oblong. They are both made from French Choux Pastry and topped with a chocolate ganache. Profiteroles are sometimes called cream puffs where they are most likely filled with whipped cream.

How to keep Eclairs from Getting Soggy

Firstly make sure your eclairs are fully baked, if there is still moisture in the choux pastry dough it will cause your eclairs to become soggy and flat as they cool. They should turn a deep golden brown, don’t take them out of the oven before this, and become super crispy.

Secondly, don’t fill your eclairs until you are ready to serve them. No matter what tips and tricks you use, the filling will slowly start to hydrate the choux pastry from the inside, creating a soggy eclair. You can of course top them with the chocolate ganache, create holes for filling and make the pastry cream all ahead of time but don’t fill them until they’re ready to be served.

Pastry Cream

Eclair Filling Ideas

There are so many different options for filling Eclairs. Here are a few of my favorites

  • Pastry Cream (Creme Patisserie) Pastry cream is the most traditional filling for eclairs. It’s a thick vanilla custard but it can also be flavored with chocolate, coffee or fruit.

  • Whipped Cream Whipped cream is a super easy and delicious filling for eclairs. I like to add a little vanilla essence and sugar to the cream. Check out the recipe for how to fix over whipped cream.

  • Diplomat Cream – This is actually equal parts pastry cream and whipped cream. It creates a lighter filling than pastry cream.

How do you fill Eclairs without cutting them?

If you don’t want to cut your eclair in half to fill it you will need a piping bag and a piping tip. Use a sharp knife or your piping tip to create 2 holes at the bottom of each eclair. Fill your piping bag with your filling and pipe the filling through the holes into each eclair until full. 

How do you fill Eclairs without cutting them?

Chocolate Eclair Troubleshooting

Why did my chocolate eclairs not rise?

There are a couple of common issues that cause eclairs not to rise.

  • The first is adding your eggs while the flour mixture is too hot. This causes the eggs to cook in the flour mixture, therefore the eclairs do not rise in the oven. Make sure to let the flour mixture cool down before adding the eggs.

  • The second reason is adding too much egg to the choux pastry dough. Make sure to use the ‘dropping’ technique for getting the right consistency. If the dough has too much egg it will be thinner in consistency and not hold its shape in the oven. Don’t add all your eggs at once, one at a time until you have the perfect consistency to the dough.

Why are my Eclairs soggy?

If your eclairs are soggy once you take them out of the oven and before you have filled them the cause for this is most likely not fully baked. The eclair shells need to be baked long enough so there is no more moisture in the pastry, make them super light, airy and crispy. Give them a little longer in the oven next time until they are golden brown and crispy.

Chocolate Eclairs Ingredients

Choux Pastry Ingredients

1 Stick / 1/2 Cup / 113g Butter – Salted or unsalted butter can be used here. The butter doesn’t need to be at room temperature for this recipe as it will be melted.

1 Cup / 250ml Water

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Cup / 125g Flour – All purpose standard flour

5 Eggs – Medium sized good quality eggs are best used here. Make sure they are at room temperature. 

Pastry Cream for Eclairs

4 Large Egg Yolks – I’ve used large eggs but 5 medium sized egg yolks can be used. This recipe only uses egg yolks but check out these recipes for using up your egg whites.

⅓ Cup | 65g Sugar

2 Tbsp / 30g Flour – All purpose flour works best here but if you did want to make this recipe gluten free corn starch can be substituted.

1½ Cups | 375ml Milk – For best results use whole milk or half and half can be used for a creamier result.

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – Vanilla essence, extract or vanilla beans can be used for this recipe. I like to use extract that has the seeds as I like the way they are speckled through the pastry cream.

Chocolate Ganache Topping

4.5oz / 125g Dark Chocolate

1/4 Cup / 65ml Cream – Heavy or whipping cream is best used here. 

How to Make Chocolate Eclairs

Choux Pastry

In a medium sized saucepan add the butter, water and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the ingredients have come to a boil.

While the butter, water and salt is coming to a boil measure out the flour.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and sprinkle in the flour. Using a wooden spoon stir the flour into the wet ingredients until the flour has been absorbed. Return the saucepan to a medium heat while continuously mixing the dough.

Once it forms a smooth ball and the sides of the saucepan are clean, 2-3 minutes, transfer the dough to a medium sized mixing bowl to cool. 

Once the dough has cooled, about 10 minutes, start to add the eggs.

Add each egg one at a time, beating well in between each addition until incorporated. The dough will start to look separated but continue to mix until it comes together. 

The choux pastry need to be at the ‘dropping’ consistency. This is when you scoop up some of the dough it will drop off the spoon after a few seconds in one clump together. If it wont drop off the spoon after a few seconds it will need more egg.

Once you have added 4 eggs, check the consistency and add the 5th egg gradually, checking for the ‘dropping’ consistency.

Line a baking sheet with non stick paper and add the choux pastry to a piping bag with a round piping tip.

Pipe lines of choux pastry, about 8cm or 3″ long and 2 cm or 1/2″ wide. The eclairs can be larger or smaller than this, just make sure they are all even so they bake at the same rate. Leave a good amount of space either side of the eclairs as they will rise and just about double in size.

Place the eclairs into a 220C / 420F oven for 20-30 minutes or until the eclairs are golden brown, puffed up and crisp.

Remove the eclairs from the oven and let them cool fully on a cooling rack before filling.

Pastry Cream

While the eclairs are baking you can make the pastry cream if you are using it, or make some whipped cream.

Chocolate Ganache

To make the chocolate ganache, chop up the chocolate into small pieces and add to a small bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream until it just starts to come to a boil.

Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate and cream stand for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes stir the ganache to incorporate the melted chocolate and cream together until smooth.

Making the Chocolate Eclairs

When the eclairs have cooled, the filling has been made and the ganache is ready, it’s time to make the Eclairs. Take your eclair shell and use the piping tip or a sharp knife to make two holes in the bottom at either end.

Fill the eclair with the pastry cream or whipped cream and dip the eclair in the chocolate ganache. Place it back on to the cooling rack to let the ganache set. Repeat with the rest of the eclairs. 

Serving the Chocolate Eclairs

These Eclairs are best eaten the day they are made, thats when they’re the freshest and most delicious! These can be made in advance if stored correctly. The unfilled Eclairs will last in an air tight container for 2-3 days but make sure they are unfilled. Filled Eclairs should be served within 30-60 minutes for best results as they do start to soak up the moisture from the pastry cream or whipped cream.

Any extras or leftovers make perfect treats in the freezer, just let them defrost for 15 minutes before eating.

Common Questions about these Chocolate Eclairs

Do you eat Eclairs hot or cold?

Eclairs are best eaten at room temperature. Let them cool from the oven fully before filling.

Do eclairs need to be refrigerated?

It’s best to fill Eclairs just before you serve them. The eclair shells can be kept in an airtight container and the pastry cream kept in the fridge. If you do have left over Eclairs keep them in the fridge but they will start to turn soggy after a few hours. 

Other Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate Brownies

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Eclairs

Yield: 20 Eclairs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These delicious Chocolate Eclairs are made with crisp choux pastry, filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a decadent Chocolate Ganache. These will disappear in a flash!

Ingredients

Choux Pastry

  • 1 Stick / 1/2 Cup / 113g Butter
  • 1 Cup / 250ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup / 125g Flour
  • 5 Eggs

Pastry Cream

Chocolate Ganache

  • 4.5oz / 125g Dark Chocolate
  • 1/4 Cup / 65ml Heavy Cream

Instructions

Choux Pastry

  1. In a medium sized saucepan add the butter, water and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the ingredients have come to a boil.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and sprinkle in the flour. Using a wooden spoon stir the flour into the wet ingredients until the flour has been absorbed.
  3. Return the saucepan to a medium heat while continuously mixing the dough. Once it forms a smooth ball and the sides of the saucepan are clean, 2-3 minutes, transfer the dough to a medium sized mixing bowl to cool.
  4. Once the dough has cooled, about 10 minutes, start to add the eggs. Add each egg one at a time, beating well in between each addition until incorporated. The dough will start to look separated but continue to mix until it comes together.
  5. The choux pastry needs to be at the ‘dropping’ consistency. This is when you scoop up some of the dough it will drop off the spoon after a few seconds in one clump together. If it wont drop off the spoon after a few seconds it will need more egg. Once you have added 4 eggs, check the consistency and add the 5th egg gradually, checking for the ‘dropping’ consistency.
  6. Line a baking sheet with non stick paper and add the choux pastry to a piping bag with a round piping tip.
  7. Pipe lines of choux pastry, about 8cm or 3″ long and 2 cm or 1/2″ wide. The eclairs can be larger or smaller than this, just make sure they are all even so they bake at the same rate. Leave a good amount of space either side of the eclairs as they will rise and just about double in size.
  8. Place the eclairs into a 220C / 420F oven for 20-30 minutes or until the eclairs are golden brown, puffed up and crisp. Remove the eclairs from the oven and let them cool fully on a cooling rack before filling.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. To make the chocolate ganache, chop up the chocolate into small pieces and add to a small bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream until it just starts to come to a boil.
  2. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let the chocolate and cream stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes stir the ganache to incorporate the melted chocolate and cream together until smooth.

Assembling the Eclairs

  1. When the eclairs have cooled, the filling has been made and the ganache is ready, it’s time to make the Eclairs. Take your eclair shell and use the piping tip or a sharp knife to make two holes in the bottom at either end.
  2. Fill the eclair with the pastry cream or whipped cream and dip it into the chocolate ganache. Place it back on to the cooling rack to let the ganache set. Repeat with the rest of the eclairs. 

Notes

Serving the Eclairs


These Eclairs are best eaten the day they are made, thats when they’re the freshest and most delicious! These can be made in advance if stored correctly. The unfilled Eclairs will last in an air tight container for 2-3 days but make sure they are unfilled. Filled Eclairs should be served within 30-60 minutes for best results as they do start to soak up the moisture from the pastry cream or whipped cream.

Any extras or leftovers make perfect treats in the freezer, just let them defrost for 15 minutes before eating.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Eclairs Serving Size: 1 Eclair
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

Nutrition Information is estimated and not always accurate

Did you make this recipe?

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