Choux pastry has existed in France for a very long time and is one of the great classics of French pastry.
In the past, the choux pastry stick was called “la duchesse” and was filled with fruit marmalade or pastry cream.
It was then modernized with a fondant icing and changed its name to that of lightning. When the pastry nozzle made its appearance, the filling of the éclairs was no longer done by a split side.
Coffee and chocolate flavors are still the two essential flavors of éclairs most present in French pastries.
While the éclairs are always a big hit, the toppings for this little entremets are now as varied as they are original. The Fauchon house and pastry chef Christophe Adam in particular have made the éclair a true gourmet icon of pastry in the 2000s.
Regarding toppings, we are currently seeing a dislike of fondant, which is considered too sweet, as for the Religieuse . Nowadays, pastry chefs gladly replace it with a chocolate bar or a cracker with less sugar. Some pastry chefs add slivers of lace crêpes, pieces of crumble or chocolate chips.
The cracker also allows the éclair to keep better. The lightning of the 21st century definitely has style!
12 people - preparation 1h30 - rest 12h - cooking 35min
Chocolate Eclair Ingredients:
For the cracker:
- 100g of butter
- 125g flour
- 125g brown sugar
For the chocolate pastry cream:
- 500g of milk
- 125g caster sugar
- 100g of egg yolks
- 15g cornstarch
- 15g T55 flour
- 150g chocolate couverture
- 100g of butter
For the choux pastry:
- 90g of water
- 90g of milk
- 3g of sugar
- 3g of salt
- 80g of butter
- 95g flour
- 170g of eggs
For the chocolate marzipan:
- 38g cocoa powder
- 250g almond paste
- 19g of syrup at 30°C
- QS of starch
For the finish:
- QS of neutral topping
- 250g cocoa nibs
- 2g gold powder
Christophe Adam's Recipe
Mix all the ingredients .
Roll out thinly on a sheet as evenly as possible. Then lay a second sheet and continue to spread evenly until you obtain a thickness of 2 to 3mm
Cut into rectangles of 14x2cm as in the photo.
Chill in the freezer for at least one night. You can keep the excess cracker in the freezer so it won't be used for a future recipe .
Chocolate pastry cream:
Bring the milk to a boil with half the sugar. In a mixing bowl , blanch the yolks with the remaining sugar. Then add the two sifted flour and starch powders.
Dissolve the blanched yolks with a third of the hot milk, then pour the yolks into the saucepan while whisking.
Cook the mixture until boiling for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking vigorously until the cream thickens.
Off the heat, add the chocolate and whisk.
Add the butter in chunks and continue beating. The preparation must be smooth and homogeneous.
Get rid of in tray, film in contact and let cool. The thinner the cream is spread, the faster the cooling will be.
Bring the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter to a boil . Add the flour off the heat and mix together.
Dry over high heat.
Remove to a bowl and gradually add the eggs, mixing with a food processor fitted with the leaf tool.
Place the cracker fresh from the freezer on top of the éclair.
Bake for 30 to 35min at 160°C.
Chocolate Almond Paste:
Mix the cocoa powder with the marzipan preferably with the mixer hook. Pour the syrup at 30°C lukewarm then mix so that the whole is smooth and homogeneous .
Roll out between 2 sheets of Silpat or parchment paper to 1.2mm thickness. Cut to the size of the éclair (14.5 x 3.5cm with rounded edges) and store in the refrigerator .
Assembly and Finishing:
Fill the eclairs from below with a pastry bag , making 4 holes with a pastry tip. You have to put about 80g of cream per eclair.
Flip the eclairs and lay the marzipan crust previously coated with topping underneath to stick. Iron a layer of topping on top to shine.
- To make a syrup at 30°C, simply heat the water and the sugar until the sugar is completely melted.
- The cooking of the choux pastry being delicate, your results will be irregular at the beginning so do some tests before.
- The golden rule: never open the oven while the choux pastry is cooking !
- To fill the éclairs, you must always make several holes rather than just one to avoid the risk of explosion.
- Never fill your puffs with a cream that is too hot!
- Do not hesitate to vary your toppings ; marzipan, caramel, ganache, etc…
- Add a shortcrust pastry base to the base of the éclair to give it an even more delicious texture.
- Like Christophe Adam, try combinations of flavors such as cardamom with mocha, chocolate with Espelette pepper, vanilla with tonka bean, pistachio with Morello cherry...
- You can easily find neutral toppings in specialty stores.
The important ingredients of this pastry
This ingredient is one of the most important in pastry so choose it well.
Its quality depends directly on its type of breeding. We therefore strongly recommend eggs from free-range hens or organic eggs .
Pastry chefs mainly use bottled egg yolks and whites in order to avoid waste and to be able to dose recipes to the nearest gram.
Some experts use dehydrated egg white powder which is ideal for reinforcing a meringue or in certain technical preparations.
This mixture of glucose , sugar and water is cooked before being beaten. We then obtain a sticky white paste that is often used as icing on eclairs and nuns .
To place it nicely on the eclairs, you can dip the top of the eclair directly into the fondant or pour the fondant upwards.
At first your fondant will either be too liquid because it is too hot or too thick because it is too cold. If you still can't master the technique, know that white fondant is sold ready to use in specialty pastry shops.
The Utensils for this Recipe
Many amateurs think that the hob is not an essential accessory in the life of the pastry chef. However, the plate plays a major role in the success of your cooking because it conducts heat during the cooking of the cakes .
So a pie whose bottom will have trouble baking will simply be placed on a plate that does not conduct heat well.
The best of these is the non-stick perforated plate because it lets the dough breathe. It allows it to dry and ensure better cooking, especially for choux pastry .
Thanks to technology, there are now silicone molds for making perfect éclairs.
If, despite our tips and tricks from the pros, you are still not comfortable with choux pastry, then here is the ultimate solution for making éclairs as beautiful as in our photos, every time.
Do it yourself !
Now you know Christophe Adam 's Chocolate Éclair Recipe and its little secrets. It's your turn to try to master the choux pastry and its melting topping.
This recipe is easier and more delicious than that of Mercotte .
With the right equipment and the right recipe, you will perform miracles in the kitchen and surprise your loved ones.
Discover our equipment and utensils for the realization of this pastry by clicking on the image below.