Chocolate éclairs by Miranda Gore Browne

Chocolate eclairs

Makes 12 small éclairs

For the choux pastry
50g unsalted butter, diced
150ml water
60g strong plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon caster sugar

For the chocolate ganache
225g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
225ml double cream

Cream filling
300ml double cream


To make the choux pastry
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Put butter and water in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon as the butter melts.

2. Meanwhile, sift the flour onto a piece of folded greaseproof paper. When the butter has melted, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Remove from the heat and very quickly shoot the flour into the saucepan. Beat the flour into the liquid with a Kenwood hand mixer to mix all the ingredients together. Stop beating when you have a smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the saucepan. This should take only a few seconds.

3. Pour a little of the beaten egg into the flour mixture and beat it in well. Keep adding and beating in the egg, a little at a time, until the dough looks thick, smooth and shiny and still holds its shape well. You may not need the last two or three tablespoonful’s of egg.

4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and cut off the end to give about 1cm hole. Prepare baking trays with parchment, sprinkle with water and bang off excess. Pipe logs approximately 11cm long and well spaced as they double in size (leave at least 5cm between the logs of choux pastry).

5. Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. Then increase the heat to 220°C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Once out of oven, slit the éclairs with a knife to let out the steam and place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the cream filling
1. With the Kenwood hand mixer, whisk the cream until thick, slice each éclair in half long-ways and pipe the whipped cream inside.

To make the ganache
1. Put the cream and broken chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir gently and remove from the heat once the chocolate has melted. Stir to combine the chocolate and cream and beat until shiny. Leave to set a little at room temperature.

2. Either dip the éclairs into the ganache, letting the excess glaze drip back into the bowl or put the ganache into a piping bag, snip off the end and pipe a line of ganache down the middle of each filled éclair.

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