Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chocolate Eclairs with Vanilla Custard Filling

It's been rough week especially because of the passing of my amazing aunt. She was a talented artist and beautiful person. My dad took the news especially hard. He told me stories about how he first moved to New Hampshire and lived with my aunt and uncle. Sometimes I see my dad as, well, my dad. I forget he has a past that I'm not apart of.

When my dad tells stories it's like reading your favorite adventure novel. The only thing is, it's not fiction and I think he exaggerates (just kidding Dad). I thought I had a wild youth, but its nothing compared to his. My dad hopped a Greyhound Bus when he was 18 and went all the way from Michigan to White River Junction VT, where he lived with his brother and sister-in-law. My dad showed me pictures of him with feathered hair and a jean jacket and boy did he THINK he was cool ;)

My dad also told me about my aunt who passed away and showed me pictures of her and her amazing pieces of art. One of my favorites was an oil painting she did of my dad's favorite fishing spot on Lake Champlain. I spent many summers as kid catching catfish and bass with my dad at this spot.

After reminiscing and hearing stories. I decided I'd make my dad one of his favorite desserts: Chocolate Eclairs! Obviously food isn't going to fix the grieving, but there's nothing like comfort food when you're feeling down.

First things first preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lets make the Pâte à Choux.

Chocolate Éclairs With Vanilla Custard Filling 

adapted from Bakers Royale and Epicurious
Pâte à Choux
  • 1 cup of water
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  1. Place water, butter, sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove pan from stove then add flour and stir until combined. Return the pan to the stove, over medium heat, stir until dough forms a ball at the center of pan. Transfer the dough to stand mixer bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Fit the stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add in one egg at a time and mix on medium until combined before adding the rest of the eggs and egg whites. Dough should be smooth. Keep mixing until all lumps are gone.
  3. Place dough in a pastry bag. Pipe 12 (4-inch) lines, two inches apart onto parchment lined pan or greased pan. Bake 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on drying rack. While your pastries are baking and cooling start making the Vanilla Custard
Vanilla Custard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8 egg yolks 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1 tbs of butter room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla   
1. Heat milk in a sauce pan until hot. Do not boil. 
2. While the milk is heating mix together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a heat proof bowl. Add hot milk into the yolk mixture a little bit at a time constantly whisking. Once all milk has been added to egg mixture transfer back into sauce pan. Turn heat to medium low and cook until thickened, constantly mixing, approximately 6-8 minutes.
3. Once custard had thickened immediately push it the through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Mix in the butter and vanilla. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Chocolate Ganache  
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1. melt chocolate chips in heavy cream on top of a double boiler over simmering water. Mix occasionally. Cook until smooth and warm. 


1. Put your custard into a pipping back with a Bismark tip. Push the Bismark tip into the middle of the pastry, filling it with custard.
2. Dip pastries into chocolate ganache and top as desired. I used coconut, almonds, sprinkles and whatever fruit I had in the fridge!
3. eat and enjoy 


  1. There is no butter listed in the ingredients for the Pate A Choux.

    1. Thanks Diane! Added that in! kinda an important ingredient ;)