These eclairs may be cute and round but the flavors are seriously top-notch and traditional. And the most amazingly rich custard pastry cream fills these beauties. They’re the BEST eclairs and are actually simple to make too!
The thing about custard is that it has to be thick, it has to have a creamy, pale yellow hue, it has to be incredibly rich in flavor, and most of all it has to be just absolutely sinful. And if there are flecks of vanilla bean scattered throughout, well then you had me at “vanilla”. I mean “flecks of” said vanilla.
I mean, I just really think that that’s what the perfect, ideal custard would be like. So then I made it until it was pretty much just like I talked about a second ago up there and not at all like the flavorless and sort of pretty gross pudding cup stuff that comes in a pack o’ six at the grocery store.
And well, the recipe is down there if you want to go ahead and scroll almost all the way down already but there’s more to my favorite ever eclair so yeah that’s what I’m going to keep talking about now. Pretty much. Yep.
Things always seem to get real uncomfortable real quick up here in the Honest & Tasty.
But I really think custard is something to get nitpicky about because there is a fine line between that preserved pudding business and real custard cream; and the truth is that a typical eclair will blur that line and use a cheap pudding for the custard pastry cream. I ain’t playin’ though. I’m giving you the real deal with my custard recipe. It’s lush.
Also, if you’ve ever attempted to make choux dough, which is just this eclair/cream puff/churro dough, you know it can be pretty tricky.
I probably made it, I’m not kidding, 6 or 7 times over the span of 24 hours and my first batch came out totally paper-thin with a random bubble in each one. I changed every possible variable until eventually I got it to come out perfectly round, golden, and wonderful every time.
I would advise in this case to follow the recipe precisely because we are dealing with choux dough, and if you do then it should be simple and successful. And no wooden spatula to keep the oven propped open necessary either! I love myself a good and easy, yet majorly nom nom baking recipe.
And then the super easy chocolate glaze just makes the whole thing come together beautifully, as if you bought it fresh from a Parisian bakery… except for the fact that my eclairs are round because 1) it’s easier this way and 2) I like them this way.
Plus, they’re too cute and eating more than one is not only acceptable—it’s completely expectable. And who really cares about shape? It’s all going in mah mouf anyway!
Try my absolutely heavenly cream puff recipe!
Try my easy cinnamon roll recipe!
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The Best Eclair Recipe
Custard (Pastry Cream):
- 1 ¼ cups Whole Milk
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar can sub rapadura
- 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Egg Yolks
- ½ Vanilla Bean Pod split lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- ½ cup Water
- ½ cup Whole Milk
- ½ cup Butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Eggs whisked lightly
- ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons Whole Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Custard:
- Heat the milk in a small pot/saucepan (don’t use a non-stick pot unless your whisk isn’t metal) until it just comes to a simmer.
- Right away, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour.
- Add in the egg yolks to the mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to incorporate them into the dry ingredients until it forms a paste.
- Then slowly drizzle all the milk into the bowl, mixing the entire time so that you properly homogenize everything together.
- Pour this mixture back into the pot over medium heat and whisk constantly until it thickens up and the frothiness goes away. It will then start bubbling/boiling and just whisk for a few more seconds before removing the pan from the heat.
- Scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod and add them into the pot.
- Add the butter and whisk until it’s all melted and incorporated.
- Cover the custard with plastic wrap, and make sure to make contact with the surface of the custard. Cool at room temperature for a few minutes before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
For the Dough:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and grease the foil.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
- Once it comes to a simmering boil, remove it from heat and quickly mix in the flour with a wooden spatula until fully incorporated.
- Put the pot back over the heat for 2 minutes, mixing the entire time. This is important for removing excess steam.
- Then remove the pot from the heat and mix for another 3 minutes to slightly cool and release more steam.
- Little by little, add in the whisked eggs, stirring constantly until everything is fully combined and the dough is stretchy and thick.
- Use two large spoons to make 1 tablespoon-full round dollops of dough on the baking sheet. Give about two inches of space between dollops.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then change temp to 350°F until golden brown (approximately 20 more minutes).
- Using a knife or wooden skewer, poke a small hole at the side of each dough ball once it’s come out of the oven to keep from deflating. This isn’t absolutely necessary but it’s good for setting your mind at ease.
- Cool before filling with custard.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until glossy and smooth.
To Assemble Eclairs:
- Use a knife to poke a hole at the bottom of each dough ball.
- Take a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag (with one corner snipped) and place a large piping tip inside and poke it out the corner of the bag.
- Fill the bag with custard and fill each dough ball through the hole you’ve made in each one. You’ll know when to stop filling because the dough will become heavy in your hand.
- Dip the top of each eclair into the chocolate glaze. Place on a plate to allow glaze to set on top of eclairs for 5 minutes before serving. I hope you enjoy!!