Our chocolate eclair recipe guarantees better results than shop-bought alternatives, and they’ll make a great addition to a luxury afternoon tea.
This chocolate eclairs recipe is a classic, tried and tested in the famous Woman’s Weekly kitchen. So indulgent, they’re crammed with cream, topped with decadent dark chocolate and made with light and fluffy choux pastry, which is also used to make profiteroles. You can enjoy one of these gorgeously gooey eclairs for under 250 calories: perfect for those wanting a lighter afternoon treat or dessert. We’ve used dark chocolate here but you could use white or milk cooking chocolate instead.
- For the choux pastry:
- 60g butter
- 75g plain flour
- 2 medium eggs
- For the filling:
- 200g bar dark chocolate
- 284ml carton whipping cream
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- For the topping:
- 100g bar dark chocolate
- 30g butter
- Large piping bag, fitted with a 1.5cm plain piping tube
- Large star piping tube
- Baking sheets, lined with baking parchment or non-stick liners
Set the oven to 220°C.
To make the choux pastry: Place butter in a saucepan and pour in 150ml water. Place pan over a medium heat until the butter melts. Increase heat and bring mixture to the boil. Remove pan from heat, quickly tip in the flour and beat mixture until it binds together and comes away from the sides of the pan to form a ball. Leave the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Fill piping bag fitted with the plain piping tube, with the choux mixture. Pipe out lines of the mixture, about 7-8cm (2¾ – 3½in) long, on the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle some cold water over them, then bake in the centre of oven for 15-20 minutes, swapping the position of the trays if the ones on the top start to brown quicker than the lower ones.
Remove the trays with the éclairs from the oven. Pierce each éclair with a skewer to allow the steam to escape, then return to the oven for a further 5-7 minutes or until they are crisp. Remove the trays from oven and transfer the éclairs to a wire rack. Leave them to cool completely.
Cut one side of each éclair and scoop out any soft mixture in the centres using a teaspoon.
To make the filling: Break the chocolate into pieces and place it in a bowl. Pour cream into a pan and bring to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate dissolves, and add vanilla extract to taste. Allow the mixture to cool, then chill until it’s thick.
Whisk the chocolate filling until light and fluffy and holding its shape, then use to fill the piping bag, fitted with the star piping tube. Pipe some of the chocolate mixture into each éclair, then press the éclairs lightly to close them.
To make the topping: Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt, either in a microwave, or over a pan of hot water. Dip the top of each éclairs into the mixture, taking care not to get any of the topping in the filling. This may be easier to do if you brush it on with a pastry brush. Leave the topping to set before serving.
Top tips for making chocolate eclairs:
It’s worth noting that you can’t freeze these eclairs with the filling and topping. But you can freeze the unfilled choux pastry fingers on their own - for up to three months. Refresh them in a hot oven to crisp up after defrosting, and allow them to cool before filling.
Did you know...
Chocolate eclairs were invented in France in the 19th century. And, there’s a day dedicated to this dessert - Chocolate Eclair day happens every year on 22 June.