Chocolate Eclair Recipe

The most delicious chocolate eclairs in the world!

This chocolate eclair recipe is pretty easy to do, especially considering how professional they look. I prefer them with chocolate topping and a gently sweetened cream for the filling.

Funnily enough, the french word eclair means flash of lightening. Eclairs are so named because they disappear in a flash! This is certainly our experience. They are without doubt at the top of my list of favourite pastries.

They are light and airy, with just the right amount of sweetness. They are always the first thing to disappear from the table. Children and adults alike love them.

Eclairs are choux pastry fingers filled with whipped cream or flavoured creme patissiere (pastry cream) and topped with fondant icing. However, I much prefer them topped with a simple chocolate sauce that doesn't quite set. They are luscious! Delicious! I think I could eat them every day.

I do prefer the lightness of using just whipping cream, sweetened slightly with a little icing sugar. You can add cocoa powder to the cream to make chocolate cream and make double chocolate eclairs.

Or you can fill chocolate eclairs with pastry cream loosened off with a little cream, which is very tasty.

You can also top them with sugar icing flavoured with coffee to make coffee eclairs - but in my mind, nothing beats topping them with real chocolate.

Chocolate Eclair Recipe

Time: 1 1/4 hours (including making pastry)
Level: Easy
Makes 8 little eclairs

1 quantity of choux pastry
1 cup of whipping cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 cup chocolate, broken into chunks
eggwash (1 egg yolk plus 1 tbs milk)

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350F.

  • Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  • Whilst the raw choux pastry is still warm, fill a piping bag with a 1 inch nozzle.

    I use a piping bag to make the eclair shapes, although I don't bother with the actual nozzle. If you don't have a piping bag, just use a plastic bag and snip a hole at the corner to make a hole roughly 1 inch in diameter.

    The best way to fill the bag is to put it in a glass, like this. Fold the edges of the bag over the sides of the glass.
  • Pipe 7cm (3 inch) long eclair shapes on to the baking parchment. The diameter should be about 1 inch, so go slowly.

  • Try to shape the ends so that they are slightly rounded rather than coming to a point. Space them well apart as they grow much larger. If they have come to a point, use a slightly dampened metal spoon to gently push the dough into shape.
  • Brush with eggwash and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. They need to be dry and crisp on the outside, but they should still be soft in the middle. In my experience, if they are crisp and lightly golden brown on the outside, they will be cooked inside.

  • Place on a wire rack to cool and prick each one in the side with a fork to allow the steam to escape.

  • Five minutes before you remove them from the oven, make the topping, melt the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream in a pan on a gentle heat.

  • Leave to chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.

  • While they are cooling, you can make the filling. Take 3/4 cups of cream and whip it until it holds its shape well. Fold in 1 tbsp of icing sugar.
  • Once the eclairs are cool (they don't take long), you can split them lengthways down one side and fill them with the cream. I find it easiest to fill them with a piping bag. It's just easier to control the cream.

  • Finally, spread the chocolate on the top of the eclairs. I find it easiest to do this with a spoon. I spoon the chocolate on first and then spread it out with the back of the spoon.

And they're ready!

You can keep chocolate eclairs in the fridge for a few hours. They do go softer as the time goes by because of the cream filling. I rather like this. But if you prefer them to be crisp, don't fill them until about an hour before you want to eat them.

Serve with

We sometimes have chocolate eclairs in the winter with hot chocolate. If you make the cases before you go out, it's a simple matter to fill and ice them while the hot chocolate is warming. Served with English Chocolate Cake, this triple chocolate treat is always well-received! In this picture, the filling of the eclairs is a chocolate cream.

I also particularly like to serve them with vanilla slices and chocolate dipped strawberries. This is great served with earl grey tea and is a wonderful summery treat.

One of our favourite afternoon tea combinations is chocolate eclairs, peach scones, egg salad sandwiches, tomato sandwiches and cucumber sanwiches. We love this served with fresh mint tea.

If you feel Chuffed with this Chocolate Eclair Recipe, you might Adore Apricot Tart!