Eclairs are an indulgent, classic pastry that you won’t find at your average bakery. They’re a little bit more time consuming to make than some other treats, and they’re at their absolute best when they’re fresh. As a result, they’re a pastry that you should learn to make at home so that you can eat them at their peak. Over on the Craftsy blog (it’s free!!), I’ll walk you through How to Make Eclairs step-by-step.
This recipe starts with a traditional choux pastry that is piped into long, thin cases for the eclairs. They’re filled with homemade vanilla pastry cream and topped with a chocolate icing. Chocolate, vanilla and choux is the most common combination you’ll find for eclairs. But once you’ve mastered the basic techniques of making the filling and piping the cases, you can start to put your own flavor twists on this traditional dessert. Chocolate pastry cream can be used, for instance, and you can add spices or other flavorings to the frosting. You can even turn it into a ganache for a richer, more decadent finishing touch.
Before you start, the most important tip that I can give you is to be patient when baking the shells for the eclairs. Don’t worry about the shape as much as the baking time. They should be golden and crisp outside. A soggy shell isn’t a good vehicle for the filling and you may find yourself starting over if you don’t take your time with the first batch. That said, choux is actually pretty easy to work with and I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it in no time!