Chocolate Eclairs

Mini Chocolate Eclairs for two | dessertfortwo.com

These mini chocolate eclairs for two positively melt my heart.  I want to dunk them in my coffee in the morning, snack on them in the afternoon, and eat them for dessert after dinner.  The good news in that scenario is that this recipe only makes 6 mini two-bite eclairs.  If you share these with someone you love, you’re almost guaranteed to not eat the whole batch yourself…almost.

For some divine reason, pâté à choux dough is easy to scale down.  Of all the things I thought would cause me to reach for the cork screw before 5:00, pâté à choux is not one of them.  (By the way, Cabernet is my favorite problem solver ever).  Cookies, on the other hand, give me loads of trouble when scaling down.  Switch out just 1 teaspoon of something-or-other, and the cookies spread across the entire sheet and crisp to black in no time.  But delicate French pastry filled with rich cream and topped with chocolate?  A cinch.  Maybe a little too easy (says my waistline).

Chocolate Eclairs | dessertfortwo.com

I used my Cream Puffs for two recipe, but I discovered something important worth mentioning–now that I’m cooking on a gas stove, I find that the pan doesn’t hold as much heat once turned off. So, if you’re cooking on a gas stove, instead of turning the heat entirely off to incorporate the flour, just turn it to low.  If you’re cooking on a glass cooktop, turn it off–those things hold enough heat to burn you 6 hours later.

Yes, this is exactly what I’m eating in those photos on my About page.  Sorry to tease you for so long, but here they are!

Mini Chocolate Eclairs | dessertfortwo.com

Christina Lane dessertfortwo.com

I took a few photos to help you along the way.  When I say ‘cook the flour until the dough pulls away from the edges of the pan,’ this is exactly what that looks like.  The dough clings to the spoon and become hard to stir.  This is also what I’m referring to when I say if you have a gas stove, turn the heat to low; if you have a glass cooktop, turn the heat completely off.  If the dough does not clump around the spoon after 1 minute, turn the heat up slightly and continue to stir.

How to make eclairs | dessertfortwo.com

The rest of the cooking process is simple.

1) As soon as the dough clumps together, move it to a mixing bowl, and begin beating it with an electric mixer until it is warm to the touch, about 1-2 minutes.

2) Once the dough has cooled, add the egg and continue beating.

3) Beat until the dough falls off the beaters in sheets, and is pale yellow.

4) Notice the color change from photo three to four? Perfection!

How to make eclairs | dessertfortwo.com

Now, go on! Make delicate French pastries and dunk them in black coffee because you deserve it!

How to make eclairs | dessertfortwo.com How to make eclairs | dessertfortwo.com

5.0 from 3 reviews
Mini Eclairs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Yield: 4-6 small eclairs
:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For the pastry cream:
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the eclairs:
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
For the chocolate glaze:
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
Instructions
  1. First, make the pastry cream: In a small saucepan, warm the heavy cream until the tiniest of bubbles appear on the edge of the pan--do NOT boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the egg yolks, and whisk. It will be crumbly, it's fine.
  3. Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg yolk mixture, a tablespoon or so at a time. Continue to whisk as you pour.
  4. Next, pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly while it comes to a simmer. Once simmering, it will begin to thicken. Once large bubbles pop on the surface, continue to cook for a few more seconds while whisking, then remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  6. Next, make the eclairs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  7. In a small saucepan, stir together the water and butter over low heat. Let the butter gently melt without bringing the water to a rolling boil for too long.
  8. Remove the water-butter mixture from heat, and add the flour, sugar and salt mixture all at once. Stir, stir, stir.
  9. Put the pan back on the burner that's been turned off and stir until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. In other words, the dough will stick together in one big clump around the spoon and not the edges of the pan. It happens in about 1 minute. This is the part where you may have to leave your burner on low if you're cooking with gas or electric burners. If using a glass cook-top, turn it off entirely for this step.
  10. Scrape the dough into a mixing bowl, and beat on low speed with an electric mixture until the mixture is only warm to the touch (about 1-2 minutes). Add the egg and continue beating. Beat for a few minutes, until the dough falls off the beaters in sheets and is pale yellow.
  11. Scrape the mixture into a piping bags (or use two spoons). To get the most rise out of your dough, scoop 3 balls of dough and pile the dough on top of itself with the edge of a spoon. (See photo for reference). You should get 6 eclairs.
  12. Bake the eclairs for 10 minutes, then open the oven door for 5 seconds, lower the heat to 350, and close the door. Continue to bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Do not be afraid of brownness--if you under-bake, the insides do not dry out. See photo for reference.
  13. When the eclairs are done baking, turn the oven off, and remove the sheet from the oven. Using a thin knife, poke a hole in the side of each eclair. You will eventually cut all the way through the eclair to fill it with the pastry cream, but for now, just cut a slit so steam can escape. Return the pan to the turned-off oven, and let cool for 30 minutes with the oven door ajar.
  14. Next, slice the eclairs in half, and fill with the chilled pastry cream.
  15. For the chocolate topping, combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl. Stir well, then microwave in 10-second pulses until almost all the way melted, stirring between each pulse. Dip the tops of the eclairs in the chocolate, and chill until set for 15 minutes.
  16. The eclairs taste best served within a few hours of making, but they will keep covered in the fridge for 1 day.
Notes
Pastry cream recipe adapted from TheKitchn.

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    This is so AMAZING! Wow. I want these. The fact that you’re making these, and the pastry cream, for 2…is…unreal. And awesome! And the look on your face = priceless. And you have flawless skin!! I wish I could pin that :) but I will pin the eclairs!

    • says

      You think like I do! I add veggies to my day to ‘compensate’ for desserts. If I want dessert, I *will* snack on carrots and celery sticks mid-day. And I think about that dessert the entire time I’m doing it, hehe!

  2. says

    I’ve never scaled down pâté à choux dough, nice to know that you can! And eclairs for two, how perfect is that?!?! Yum! Your eclairs look particularly perfect.

  3. says

    Chocolate eclairs are one of my most favourite things. And the filling in these looks exquisite.
    I have pinned them to my teatime board and can’t wait to make them!

  4. says

    Choux is like….inexplicably simple, so weird, right? These eclairs are simply STUNNING and they look so so soooo delicious! I’m jealous of you in those photos because you’re eating these :P

  5. Christinem says

    LOVE these puffs. I could eat all day myself! the pastry is really kind of easy once you do it and follow directions. I used my hand to beat each egg instead of the mixer, think I might do your version instead, save my hands !!!!

  6. says

    Pate a choux is definitely one of my favorite things to make! Because for how fancy it seems, it’s actually super easy to make. I love these eclairs for two!! Although, around me…they might just be eclairs for one. Truth.

  7. says

    You’re killing me, Christina! I can’t exercise for the next 8 weeks or so due to foot surgery, and I’m struggling to not make these today. I haven’t had eclairs in years, but you can bet I’ll be making these as soon as I’m back on my feet and able to burn off the extra calories. Along with all your other beautiful desserts…

  8. says

    Finding out that pate a choux is easy to scale down could be dangerous. I can easily see me making this dough and consuming the eclairs once a week. I love the photos of you eating the eclairs. You really look like you’re enjoying them. They look wonderful. Pinned.

  9. says

    First of all, you are the cutest thing in the world! Second of all, I want to dunk one of these puppies into my extra strong black coffee tomorrow morning. Can you please overnight me one asap!!! XO

  10. says

    Eclairs are the best! I think the pastry cream inside is my favorite. Thanks for the tip on making these with the gas stove, also I have to agree that there is no problem in the kitchen that can’t be solved with a glass of wine or cocktail!

  11. says

    Oh, my goodness, there has never been a more perfect or lust-worthy little pastry! I can’t remember the last time I had a proper eclair, and I’m absolutely dying for one now. I really must return to the challenge of making vegan pate choux!

  12. says

    Oh my heavens, Christina. These look amazing! I don’t know why I haven’t looked st your blog more as I am in love with deserts for two. I scout play have a couple cookies for two recipes on my blog that I think are pretty good. But I can tell I need these in my life asap.

    • says

      ooh, Steph. I have no idea. I didn’t test the recipe tripled. The pastry cream will be fine. I’m not sure about the eclairs…just make sure the batter consistency matches that in the step by step photos, ok? Let me know :)

      Happy baking,
      Christina

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