Mini chocolate éclairs
Delicious bites of custard-filled pastries topped with dark chocolate glaze.
Sometimes an occasion arises that calls for an extra special dessert. These chocolate éclairs are not quick or easy, but the results are well worth the time – your friends and family will delight in every decadent bite. And there’s no searching for filling in these heavenly éclairs – they’re stuffed to the brim with sweet, creamy custard.
Take the time to read through the recipe and get a feel for each step. You’ll want to set aside 2 hours start to finish, and be sure to leave time to chill before serving – you and the éclairs! If you’re short on time, purchase a few pudding snack packs – butterscotch would probably be delicious – and fill. (There’s no rule that the chef needs to knock herself out with every dish served.)
You can also make standard-sized éclairs using this recipe (think hot dog bun size). Double the length and thickness and increase baking time to 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Personally, I’m a big fan of minis. You’ve got all of the flavor, and only half the calories. And when you’ve finished the last finger lickin’ bite, your taste buds don’t know the difference between a mini and a regular, but your body sure does!
- 2 cups vanilla-flavored coconut milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 7 eggs
- 1 egg
- A few drops water
- 1 cup heavy cream or coconut creamer
- 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For egg wash:
For chocolate glaze:
In a medium pot, bring coconut milk to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
Whisk yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the cornstarch and whisk until incorporated.
Whisk in ¼ cup of the hot coconut milk. Add remaining milk and whisk for a minute.
Pour mixture back into pot and whisk until it starts to thicken and boil.
Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until completely incorporated.
Cover with saran wrap, laying it directly on top of the custard, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large pot, mix water, butter and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and add all of the flour.
Stir with a wooden spoon for one minute, and then return to heat and mix for one more minute.
Transfer to electric mixing bowl. Turn to medium speed and add one egg at a time, scraping sides and bottom of bowl in between each egg addition.
Take a pastry bag (or gallon-sized Ziploc bag) and snip an inch off the end. The opening should be at least an inch wide. Twist top, and grip to keep it sealed while you squeeze out log-shaped mounds, about 3 inches long.
Beat egg with water to create egg wash. Brush onto éclairs and then smooth edges with your fingers. You can plump up the éclairs and sort of mold them at this point to yield a more uniform look.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425° F, then reduce heat to 375° and bake another 15 minutes (don’t open the oven while these bake – they need full heat to puff up). Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
Use a skewer or other sharp object to poke a hole in each éclair. Use a syringe or donut filler to fill completely with refrigerated custard. (Don’t skimp on this step!)
Heat milk (or creamer). Remove from heat, add chocolate and mix until smooth.
Pour and spread over top of each éclair. If you’d like a more decorative look, melt some white chocolate and drizzle over dark chocolate, or shake on sprinkles before the chocolate sets.
Allow to harden, and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Éclairs can be frozen after cooling completely.