Citizens! I, the mysteriously hidden yet globally Machiavellian TFD, have decided to share a recipe for a favorite dessert, as made by the legendary master chef Alain Ducasse! 🙂
An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry is then filled with a vanilla-, coffee- or chocolate-flavored custard (crème pâtissière), or with whipped cream, or chiboust cream; and then iced with fondant icing.
Other fillings include pistachio- and rum-flavored custard, fruit-flavored fillings, or chestnut purée. The icing is sometimes caramel, in which case the dessert may be called a bâton de Jacob.
The word comes from the French: éclair ‘flash of lightning’, so named because it is eaten quickly (in a flash).
The éclair originated during the nineteenth century in France where it was called “pain à la Duchesse” or “petite duchesse” until 1850. It is a popular member of the pie family served all over the world. The word is first attested both in English and in French in the 1860s.
Some food historians speculate that éclairs were first made by Antonin Carême (1784–1833), the famous French chef. The first known English-language recipe for éclairs appears in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, published in 1884.
Some pastry chains in the United States and Canada market Long John doughnuts as éclairs or éclair doughnuts. Long Johns are not identical with éclairs, as Long Johns use doughnut pastry, which is yeast-risen or batter-derived, rather than choux dough, which is steam-puffed. Long Johns are usually filled with vanilla pudding or custard and topped with cake icing.
Citizens, I fear nothing except the shame of coming up with a second-best recipe – thus, I will defer to the master! This recipe hails from one of my favorite sites, allmychefs.com – it is a paid repository, but the recipes are from the greatest French masters and it is well worth the price of entry (as this recipe proves!)!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
Alain Ducasse’s Chocolate Éclairs
- For the choux pastry:
- 2 ounces (60 g) butter
- 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) water
- 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) milk
- 1/4 ounce (4 grams) fine salt
- 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) type 55 flour
- 7 3/4 ounces (220 g) eggs (about 4 eggs)
- For the glaze:
- 3/4 ounce (20 g) egg yolk
- 3/4 ounce (20 g) egg white
- 1/3 ounce (10 g) water
- 1 gram fine salt
- 1 gram superfine sugar
- Preparing the chocolate pastry cream:
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) superfine sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces (10 g) egg yolks
- 1 1/4 ounces (35 grams) custard powder
- 1 1/4 ounces (35 grams) flour
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 ounce (15 g) cocoa powder
- 2 1/8 ounces (60 g) dark couverture chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 14 ounces (400 g) white fondant
- 3/4 ounce (20 g) water (or 30° Baumé syrup) – 30° Baumé syrup is made from 137 parts of sugar to 100 parts of water
- Depending on desired color: – cocoa powder (as needed) – cocoa butter (as needed)
- For the choux pastry
- Sift the flour.
- Cut the butter into small pieces.
- Pour the milk and the water into a pot of suitable size. Add the salt and butter pieces.
- Bring to a gentle boil, so that the butter melts completely just as the water
- starts to boil. When the butter has melted, remove the pot from the heat. Add all of the flour.
- Use a spatula to incorporate the flour into the mixture until smooth. Place the pot over medium heat and stir the mixture vigorously with the spatula to dry it out. Stop stirring when this panade comes away from the sides of the pot and a film forms on the bottom.
- Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a flat beater attachment.
- While beating on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Wait for each to be fully
- incorporated into the mixture before adding the next.
- If the dough seems too firm, add a little egg. It is ready when it forms a peak on the spatula and has a glossy appearance. Transfer to a bowl and scrape off the excess.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F) (deck oven) or 170°C (350°F) (convection oven).
- Fit a pastry bag with a size 14–16 fluted tip and fill with dough.
- Pipe éclairs of about 15cm (6 inches) onto a greased baking sheet.
- For the glaze:
- Mix all of the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl.
- Glaze the éclairs.
- Bake about 15 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack.
- Set aside in a dry place.
- Preparing the chocolate pastry cream:
- Combine the milk with the split vanilla bean in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the custard powder and flour and incorporate.
- Pour the hot milk over this mixture while whisking constantly.
- Transfer the mixture to the pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Finely chop the chocolate.
- Flavor the warm pastry cream with the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Fit a pastry bag with a size 8 plain tip and fill with the flavored pastry cream. Cool quickly and refrigerate.
- Make 3 holes at the bottom of the éclairs using a size 2 plain pastry bag tip.
- Fill the éclairs through the holes.
- Warm the fondant in a high-sided skillet over low heat.
- Dilute the contents of the skillet with a bit of water.
- Add the cocoa powder + cocoa mass.
- Heat to a maximum of 35°C (95 F).
- Glaze the éclairs and smooth with your fingers.
- Transfer to a rack and allow the glaze to harden.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Poison… Sucre c’est poison..