26 January 2011


Recently, when I was home for a week and dancing as usual, Shawn asked me what I was going to bring the next day. I didn’t have anything planned so I asked what he’d suggest. Immediately he said éclairs. He was joking and quite obviously didn’t expect me to actually make them. They are quite intimidating. They seem so fancy and elegant that they have to be hard to make, right?

Turns out they’re not so bad. Probably I’ll make these quite often. Also I learned a new trick today to pipe them through a pastry bag rather than shape them by hand. This is a very good idea, and probably will reduce the time shaping them by 5/6. They also take a very long time to cook, but that leaves time to make the filling at the glaze (I cheated and didn’t make the glaze because, as usual, they took slightly more time than I expected, and I procrastinated a bit too much).

But they were still pretty amazing. And Shawn immediately hid half of them to take home. I should have told him I slaved over them for 23 hours, but I wasn’t quite that quick.

Choux Pastry

½ c Butter
1 c Water
¼ t Salt
1 c Flour
4 Eggs


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed, it should glom together in a ball in the pan. Remove the pastry from heat, and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat it until it begins to be glossy about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe into strips about 4 inches long, 1 inch wide and ½ and inch tall. Bake the éclairs for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Bake for another 20 minutes. Finally, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 minutes more, until the éclairs are golden brown. Transfer the éclairs to a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool.

Here is a good tutorial for the whole process. I haven’t tried her filling yet, but I’ll experiment on a few before posting my favorite.

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