Homemade eclairs

Homemade eclairs

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(4 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 45 mins Plus chilling and cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Makes 24

Homemade eclairs are a labour of love, but the reward will be a decadent mouthful of crisp pastry oozing creamy vanilla custard

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Unfilled choux buns can be frozen
Nutrition info

Nutrition per eclair

kcalories
155
protein
3g
carbs
9g
fat
12g
saturates
7g
fibre
0g
sugar
4g
salt
0.13g

Ingredients

  • 140g plain flour
  • pinch of sugar
  • 125ml milk
  • 100g butter
  • 4 eggs

For the custard filling

  • 300ml milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp each plain flour and cornflour
  • 300ml double cream

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Method

  1. Start by making the custard filling. Heat the milk until almost boiling in a saucepan. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl, then stir in the flours, a couple of tsp at a time, to a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 mins until thick – it will go alarmingly lumpy but don’t worry, just keep stirring it vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Lay a sheet of cling film directly on the custard surface, then cool and chill until you’re ready to fill the buns.
  2. To make the choux buns, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Sift the flour with the sugar and a pinch of salt into a small bowl. Put the milk and butter into a medium saucepan with 125ml water and gently heat so the butter melts but the liquid doesn’t bubble. Once the butter has completely melted, increase the heat until the liquid comes to a fast rolling boil. Immediately turn off the heat, tip in the sifted flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until you a have a smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the pan (see picture 1). Spread over a large dinner plate to cool to hand temperature.
  3. Once the dough mix has cooled, scrape it back into your pan. Using your wooden spoon, beat in each egg, one by one, until you have a smooth, shiny mixture.
  4. Cut 2 large sheets of baking parchment. On each one draw 2 sets of ‘track’ lines with a 10cm gap – these will be your guidelines so your eclairs will all be roughly the same size (see picture 2). Use the paper to line 2 large baking sheets – penside down. Spoon your choux mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm wide nozzle, or into a disposable piping bag with a similar-size hole snipped off for piping. Pipe 2 rows of well-spaced, squashed ‘S’ shapes on each sheet between the guidelines (see picture 3). Bake, one tray at a time, on a high-ish shelf for 25 mins, reducing temperature to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 as soon as they go in the oven.
  5. After 25 mins, poke a hole in the end of each bun, or using a small serrated knife, split down the middle and return to the oven, upside-down, to dry out for 5 mins until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.
  6. While the buns are cooling, finish your filling. Whisk the cream until thick, then use your electric whisk to beat the cooled, set custard until just smooth again. Fold in the cream. Spoon your filling into a piping bag – use a small nozzle if you’re filling the buns through the holes you've pierced, or a large nozzle if you’ve split the buns in half. Carefully pipe the custard into each cooled bun – they should feel heavy once full. Arrange the buns on a wire rack and spread each with a little of your chosen icing (see below). If you can’t decide, it’s really easy to split your batch of choux buns, halve icing quantities, and make a selection to keep everyone happy.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2010

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Comments

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jo_mccaff's picture
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First attempt at choux pastry and they were perfect and very easy to make although it didn't stretch to 24 eclairs. Would def make again.

anydream's picture

Recipe is a bit misleading, no mention of the 125 ml water in the ingredients and where/when to add the double cream for the custard, lucky enough I've done something similar before and the éclairs turned out just gorgeous!

marzipanlimpet's picture

They often don't put water in the ingredients list. The cream is in step 6 isn't it? Is that wrong?

carlyneg's picture
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My first attempt at making eclairs and these turned out fantastic!! I filled them with whipped double cream instead of the custard though. They looked and tasted amazing. Thanks!! Just a word of warning. Make sure you leave plenty of room between each eclair. I made the mistake of trying to get too many on to one tray and ended up with a few soggy ones in the middle! xx

carlyneg's picture
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My first attempt at making eclairs and these turned out fantastic!! I filled them with whipped double cream instead of the custard though. They looked and tasted amazing. Thanks!! Just a word of warning. Make sure you leave plenty of room between each eclair. I made the mistake of trying to get too many on to one tray and ended up with a few soggy ones in the middle! xx

bahadur_aditi's picture

how long can these stay in the fridge?

sarahaw24's picture
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can i freeze the prepared eclairs?? thanks

lallyj's picture

fantastic. didnt make the custard though just put cream in them instead. fickle family i have who limit my culinary adentures. but yeah still fantastic

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