Eclair recipe – world-famous French choux pastry

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Fluffy, creamy, delicate – these eclairs are addictive, that’s how delicious they are. You’ll want to eat them all at once once you’ve tasted one. Whether for a special occasion or simply for dessert during the week, eclairs are guaranteed to enchant everyone at the dinner table. Here I’ll show you how to make this choux pastry mini cakes with butter pudding filling yourself. A detailed eclair recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found here at the very bottom.

Eclair recipe

What are eclairs?

Eclairs are tube-shaped filled mini cakes made with choux pastry that originated in France. The filling is usually pudding or butter pudding cream with vanilla, chocolate or coffee flavor. Eclairs are covered with chocolate or sugar glaze.

By the way, the word “eclair” translated from French means “lightning”. There are several explanations for this name.

According to one conjecture, eclairs are eaten in a flash because they are so delicious, hence the name. According to another theory, the pastry was so named because it increases very quickly when baked in the oven.

Heavenly delicious combination of three components

Light and airy choux pastry, delicate creamy butter vanilla pudding filling and chocolate glaze are combined in eclairs. The three components combine perfectly and provide a heavenly delicious taste experience.

The homemade eclairs practically melt in your mouth after each bite. Just give them a try! I’m sure you won’t be able to resist the sweet temptation.

By the way, have you tried other homemade treats from French cuisine, like croissants, vegan chocolate mousse, macarons, palmier cookies or Fraisier cake?

Eclairs in the Soviet Union

Eclairs were very popular in the Soviet era. Along with korzinochki, kartoshka, sochniki, puff pastry horns with Italian meringue and many popular cakes, they also had a permanent place in Soviet confectioneries, bakeries and canteens.

Soviet children and adults loved the mini cakes. What a feast for children it was when their mom came home with eclairs after work. For them, the pastry is a memory of their childhood – the taste of childhood.

French choux pastry

Popular all over the world

Whether in Europe or Asia – the eclairs originating from France are popular all over the world. Some countries have given their own name to the dessert, while some have kept the name “eclair”.

For example, while the pastry is called palos de jacob in Argentina or Liebesknochen (love bones) in Germany, which is outdated, it is traditionally called “eclair” in Russia.

Regardless of the name, however, the mini cakes taste uniquely delicious in every country and are common everywhere for a reason.

What is eclair filling made of?

The classic eclair filling is the vanilla cream or butter pudding cream. The second variant, as the name suggests, consists of pudding and butter.

The filling can be made with vanilla or chocolate flavor. I filled my eclairs with butter vanilla pudding cream.

If you want to make a chocolate cream, just substitute vanilla for some chocolate in the recipe below here. Melt the chocolate for it, add it to the hot pudding right after it’s cooked, mix it until it’s homogeneous and then let it cool.

How do I fill the choux pastry?

You can fill your eclairs using a piping bag and a long, thin nozzle. To do this, pour the cream into the piping bag, carefully insert the nozzle into the eclair and pipe the cream into the cavity of the pastry.

You can insert the nozzle into the pastry either from the side, from below or from above. The holes created at the top will be hidden under the glaze later.

Alternatively, you can cut each pastry in half lengthwise, spread the filling on the bottom piece, and then place the top piece on top.

I filled half of my eclairs using the first method and the second half using the second method.

How to make Liebesknochen

How to decorate the French choux pastry?

Traditionally, eclairs are topped with a chocolate or sugar glaze. For the chocolate glaze, I melted dark chocolate with a little butter.

If you want to make a sugar icing instead, mix powdered sugar with a little lemon juice or water until you have a gooey white glaze.

In addition to the glaze, you can decorate the pastry with chopped nuts or fresh berries. You can also color the glaze with food coloring to create colorful eclairs on the dining table.

What tools do I need to make eclairs?

To pipe the choux pastry, you will need a piping bag** with an 8 mm diameter hole nozzle or a closed star nozzle.

To fill the choux pastry without cutting them open, you will need a piping bag with a long, thin nozzle. If you cut the pastry in half long ago, you can use a star nozzle to pipe the filling onto the bottom half of the pastry.

How to serve and store eclairs?

Homemade eclairs taste best fresh, the day they are made. Just refrigerate them for about 1 hour right after they’re done so the filling can set and the glaze can dry.

Store the leftover pastry in the refrigerator and consume them within the first 2-3 days at the latest. If you store them longer, the choux pastry will gradually soften and not become fluffy.

How to make eclairs

These eclairs with buttercream filling are

  • creamy,
  • fluffy,
  • tender,
  • moderately sweet,
  • heavenly delicious,
  • with butter vanilla pudding filling,
  • an eye-catcher on the dining table,
  • to make with common ingredients with some effort,
  • perfect for dessert with coffee, tea or for a party,
  • classic of French cuisine,
  • a sweet favorite of the Soviet Union.

Eclair recipe – DIY is worth it

The eclairs recipe, which you can find here at the end of the post, is not difficult, but requires some effort. However, it is worth it to make the French choux pastry yourself. Because it tastes homemade incredibly delicious.

First, you prepare the classic choux pastry. To make sure everything goes well, follow my tips below. Cut strips from the dough and bake them.

While the choux pastry is cooling, you can start making the filling. First cook the pudding. When it has cooled down, whip it with butter.

Now you can fill the eclairs with the cream and then cover them with a chocolate glaze made of chocolate and butter.

Filled mini cakes from choux pastry

How to make eclairs: tips and tricks

This is how you make the choux pastry:

  • Eggs should only be added to the cooled (about lukewarm) choux pastry mixture, otherwise you may get boiled eggs in the dough.
  • The most important thing for choux pastry dough is the right consistency. For this, the amount of eggs in the recipe is always given only approximately. You might not need the last egg completely, or you might need a small amount of one more egg. To achieve the right consistency of the choux pastry dough, whisk the last egg into the dough in batches and check its consistency each time. As soon as the choux pastry dough is shiny and hangs in peaks on a wooden spoon, you don’t need to add any more eggs.
  • Process the choux pastry dough immediately after it is ready so that it does not dry out.
  • To pipe the tubular pastry from the choux pastry dough, you will need a piping bag with an approx. Ø 8 mm hole nozzle or a star nozzle of about the same size.
  • Since the choux pastries grow larger during baking, leave enough space between them on the baking sheet.
  • Do not take the choux pastry out of the oven too soon, or it may collapse. It is ready when it turns a golden brown color. Do not open the oven door during baking.
  • The choux pastry dough is perfect when your pastry are very light and firm on the outside after baking.

This is how you make the filling:

  • You can make sweetened condensed milk for the eclair filling yourself. In the article “Homemade sweetened condensed milk – recipe with 2 ingredients” I show you how to do it.
  • Stir the pudding thoroughly as it cooks so that no lumps form.
  • Butter and the pudding must be room warm and both about the same temperature when whipped together to make the cream, so they can combine well.

Video for the eclair recipe

By the way, you can find a short video for these delicious eclairs on my Youtube channel. There you can watch exactly how to make the choux pastry dough and fill the pastry. If you don’t want to miss any more videos from me, feel free to subscribe to my channel.

Did you make eclairs with this recipe? I’m looking forward to your results, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you liked the mini cakes and how it turned out.

Fancy some more sweet choux pastry recipes? Try also:

Eclair recipe

Eclairs

Fluffy, creamy, delicate – these eclairs are addictive, that's how delicious they are. You'll want to snack on all of them at once once you've tasted one. Whether for a special occasion or simply for dessert during the week, eclairs are guaranteed to enchant everyone at the dinner table. With this recipe you can make the choux pastry mini cakes with butter pudding filling yourself.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 50 mins
Cooling time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Französisch
Servings 24 eclairs

Equipment

  • piping bag

Ingredients
  

for the dough

  • 100 g butter (room temperature)
  • 250 ml water
  • approx. 4 eggs
  • 150 g flour**
  • 1 pinch of salt

for the filling

for the chocolate glaze

  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 60 g butter

Instructions
 

Preparation of the dough

  • Put softened butter, water and salt in a thick-bottomed saucepan and bring to a brief boil, stirring constantly so that the butter melts before it boils.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat, immediately add flour in one swoop and mix briskly with a wooden wooden spoon until a large ball of dough has formed.
  • Put the saucepan back on the stove and heat the dough, stirring and turning it with a wooden spoon, for about 1 - 2 minutes, until the dough comes off the bottom of the saucepan as a dumpling, leaving a white layer of starch.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat, transfer the dough to a clean mixing bowl and let it cool to lukewarm.
  • Using a wooden spoon or a mixer, gradually stir into the dough, one at a time, as many eggs as it takes to make it shiny and stick to a wooden spoon in peaks. It is best to whisk the last egg in a small bowl and add just enough of it to the dough in batches until it has the right consistency. The dough must be spreadable, in no case runny or solid.
  • Fill the dough into a piping bag with a round hole nozzle or a star nozzle and pipe on a baking tray lined with baking paper about 10 cm long strips with plenty of space between them.
  • Bake the pastries in a preheated oven at 190 °C top and bottom heat for about 35 minutes until golden brown and let them cool down.

Preparation of the filling

  • Whisk eggs in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and milk and mix with a whisk until homogeneous.
  • Add flour and mix thoroughly until all lumps have dissolved.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes to form the pudding. Remove the pudding from the heat and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • Beat soft butter for about 5 minutes to an airy, creamy, light mass.
  • Add the pudding in portions, whipping it each time to a homogeneous mass.
  • Add vanilla and whip again briefly to a homogeneous cream.

Filling the eclairs

  • Fill the choux pastry pieces with the cream by placing the cream in a piping bag with a thin, long nozzle, inserting the nozzle into each pastry piece and piping the cream into the cavity of the pastry. Alternatively, you can cut each pastry piece in half lengthwise, pipe the cream onto the bottom piece using a piping bag and a star nozzle, and place the top piece on top.

Preparation of the chocolate glaze

  • Melt dark chocolate and butter together slowly in a water bath.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the filled eclairs with the chocolate glaze. Alternatively, dip the top of each eclair into the chocolate glaze.
  • Chill the eclairs for about 1 hour.

Notes

  • Add eggs first to the cooled choux pastry dough.
  • Do not take the choux pastry out of the oven too soon, or it may collapse. It is ready when it turns a golden brown color. Do not open the oven door during baking.
  • Butter and the pudding must be room warm and both about the same temperature when whipped together to make the cream, so they can combine well.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making eclairs at the top of the post.

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