As far I recalled since my childhood, my eyes would sparkle and lit up like twinkle lights whenever my mom brings home a box of chocolate eclairs. Ahhh...yes, I could still remember the smell of fresh pastry [of course, during that time, I wouldn't know what's choux pastry], taste of fresh cream and the ever bitter sweet chocolate glazed. Yumm... yummmmmmm... I think I alone could consume almost half a dozen of eclairs [do I sense eyes rolling?.. yes I was a greedy little girl, LOLs].
Over the weekend, I decided I will make some eclairs for tea break. Something to treat my parents. Oh! and also an excuse to blog about it ;p. Without further a due, I will jump straight in and share with you the recipe. Cause I'm sensing some oOOO.. ahhHHH.. [drools]. Do make the deliciously coated chocolate eclairs plumped up with fresh cream and I am sure you will not look back. Before you know it.. you might eat all of them before having the chance to serve these decadent treats to your family and friends.
yields approx. 24 bite sizes eclairs
Note: If you do substitute unsalted butter with salted butter, make sure to omit the salt required.
For the eclairs
125g / 1 cup plain flour, sifted
70g / 1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
250ml / 1cup warm water
To prepare profiterole:
1. Preheat Oven to 200º and lightly grease baking tray or lay tray with parchment paper.
2. Put the butter, salt and 250ml water into a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir occasionally. Add the flour into the boiling mixture. Reduce the heat to low, and then beat quickly with wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.
3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool. Using electric beaters, beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy. When you lift up the beater, the mixture will form a deep V.
4. Pipe the mixture in length ways onto the prepared trays. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are puffed. Reduce the oven to 180º and bake for another 10 minutes until the puffs are golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
For fresh whipped cream
1 cup / 250ml thickened cream, chilled
8 tbsps powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
To prepare whipped cream
1. With a wired whisk on a stand mixer, mix all ingredients and whisk until stiff peaks form. Make sure to not over whisk cream else it will turn into butter.
For chocolate glaze
1/4 cup semi-dark chocolate buttons/ chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate buttons/ chips
approx.4-5 tbsps of milk
1. In a microwavable heat proof bowl, melt chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk for about 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Do check on your chocolate constantly as they burn easily. Stir once a while to help the chocolate to melt.
2. While chocolate is still warm, with a teaspoon/ spatula; continue to stir the chocolate and add in the milk until mixture is fully combine and you get a slightly thick and runny consistency. This will be just right to coat the eclairs.
To assemble eclairs:
1. With a sharp knife, make small slits at the ends of the eclairs. Using a piping bag, pipe whipped cream into the eclairs. You could feel them fattening up so make sure to not over fill them as the cream will spill out.
2. Dip the eclairs into the chocolate top side facing down and set aside on a tray. You can either serve immediately or chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. And as for my own preference, I like my eclairs chilled.
3. For strawberry eclairs: Cut strawberries into small cubes. With a sharp knife, slit the top middle of the eclair carefully to not cut them into halves. Fill the eclair with chocolate glaze, followed by some whipped cream and top them with fresh strawberries. Chill and before serving dust some powdered sugar over the strawberry eclairs.