Eclairs with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce
When I decided to make eclairs for my second to last recipe in my 30th birthday countdown, I had no idea how heartbreaking it was actually going to be. But after failing 4 times I decided to give it one last go and there it was, perfectly risen, hollow choux pastries! I’m so glad I didn’t give up, which isn’t something I’ll do easily in general, as I’ve always ‘dusted myself off and tried again’. This was created for my dad, who absolutely loves eclairs and comes from a family with a love for sweets and desserts in general. As long as I can remember, we used to have eclairs at every birthday party, and you can bet they’ll be there on my 30th too!
When it comes to the flavours, I’ve gone for the traditional Belgian way: filled with vanilla custard, topped with chocolate sauce. A lot of bakeries around the world seem to make it with whipped cream inside, some don’t add anything on top either but trust me: you can not beat a vanilla custard eclair dipped in chocolate sauce!
But what made this recipe so hard to make? It’s the damn pastry! I had the custard and chocolate sauce figured out right away, but my first attempts were just disastrous in terms of the pastry. They simply came out of the oven flat every single time! I tweaked the recipe a few time, and if you follow my recipe below exactly, I believe you’ll succeed the first time around as well. It’s safe to say this recipe has been my Everest, the toughest and most heartbreaking one yet but let me tell you: it was all worth it in the end! They were a big hit at home – even after having traveled on a plane to Belgium.
|100g unsalted butter|
|600ml full fat milk|
|150g plain flour|
|40g corn starch|
|1tsp vanilla essence|
|120g caster sugar|
|150g dark chocolate|
|150g whipped cream (already whipped)|
|5tbsp icing sugar|
|few tablespoons of chocolate sprinkles|