Have you been noticing Éclairs are showing up all over the place — and in all different sizes and shapes? Well, they are not hard to make and awfully easy to eat! Here’s how!
To make the pastry shells (choux paste), combine the butter, the water, and the salt in a large saucepan over gentle heat. When the butter has melted, bring mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cup of flour all at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and leaves the sides of the pan. Cool a few minutes. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Put the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe 3 inch lengths onto an ungreased baking sheet. Alternately, lay three spoonfuls end to end on a baking sheet in long finger shapes and smooth the tops. Bake in an oven preheated at 400 degrees and turned up to 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Do not underbake. Turn off the oven. Make a slit in the side of each éclair with a small knife and return to the turned-off oven for 10 minutes to dry out the centers.
To make the pastry cream, in a bowl, with a whisk beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Stir in the flour and cornstarch and mix well. Slowly stir in some of the warmed milk, Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk, and whisking constantly, bring the mixture back to a boil. Let simmer gently 5 minutes to cook the flour. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla. Spread on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let cool at room temperature.
To make the chocolate glaze, put the chocolate, corn syrup, and water in a small bowl over a pan of hot water. Melt gently without stirring.
To make coffee frosting, in a medium-sized bowl, dissolve the coffee in the water and stir in the rum. Gradually stir in the conf. sugar and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and shiny.
To assemble, slit the cooled éclairs lengthwise with a serrated knife. Remove any damp dough with a small spoon, and fill with the pastry cream which has been whisked again to make it smooth. With a brush, paint with the chocolate glaze (or coffee frosting). Makes 24 MSR