My Easy Chocolate Eclairs

My easy Chocolate eclairs? What makes this recipes so special that I can claim it for myself? Trial and error and 2 batches of  flop eclairs. In my family if you have learned something the hard way, we call it “paying school fees”, because after all lessons are learned in school and in my case the school of life…. Now, what does life lessons and chocolate eclairs have in common……
well, I have learned that not all recipes on Google are flop proof and for me as a recipe developer and a recipe writer, I’ve yet again realized how crucial it is to test…and test…and test recipes before you publish them.Such an enormous responsibility!

There are so many so-called foodies out there and with food bloggers posting recipes almost everyday, the Internet is updated and loaded with new recipes on a daily basis. Sadly not all of those recipes work. Heck, I have been told one of my recipes does not work and only after much drama and testing did I see when posting the image, it cut off the 1 from 150gr of sugar, thus changing it to 50gr of sugar. These things happen, but  not often, because everything that you see on my blog, I have cooked and my family has eaten, so I know the recipe works.

Which brings me back the chocolate eclairs. The first recipe I  printed off the Internet, had a pretty photograph with it and based on the image, I thought the recipe had to work….WRONG! The result was flat, crumpet-like biscuits which the children would not even eat as it was not sweet enough. The second recipe left me with soft, soggy eclairs and I never even bothered to fill them with cream.

I wanted hollow choux buns, hard on the outside and golden brown in color. Then, I remembered that just like a good old Victoria sponge cake and just like my easy homemade puff pastry, there are certain formulas in baking that never change. If you know them, you are destined for success in the kitchen. I had the knowledge already, all I had to do, was to put it to the test. So next time you want a recipe, search within yourself first, try and remember what your mom or gran told you, then you can, like me also talk about “My Easy Eclairs!”

My Easy Chocolate Eclairs

makes 24 eclairs of about 10cm long

For the Choux buns
250 ml boiling water
125 ml butter
250 ml cake flour
3 jumbo eggs or 4 large

For the filling
250 ml cream – whipped
2 tbsp caster sugar
100gr dark chocolate – melted

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Prepare a baking sheet by  spraying it with non-stick spray or lining it with baking paper. Boil the water in a small pot  and add the butter and allow to melt. Add all the cake flour in at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pot. Remove from the heat and place the mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Beat the flour mixture for about 1 minute so that it can cool and then add the eggs one by one, beating in between each addition of eggs. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 10cm long choux buns on the baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and make a small cut on the side of each choux bun to release the steam. Place back in the oven, with heat now reduced to 160C. Bake for another 5 minutes or until choux buns have now hardened. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Keep in an airtight container until needed.

To fill: Whip the cream with the caster sugar and pipe into the choux buns. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of hot water and then dip each eclair into the chocolate. One the eclairs are filled they do not stay hard for long, so do not make to long in advance.

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