This afternoon, Doug and I took a break from work and headed over to his mom's house to spend some time with his niece before she headed back to Tallahassee. We were watching sweet genius (the worst show ever!) and Moe and Doug both said they wanted something sweet. Doug wanted something chocolate, or pudding, and Moe wanted Bavarian cream and chocolate. I don't want anything unless it's Sprite and Cough Drops, but instead of being a lump on the couch, I said "Eclairs?" Both of their eyes lit up and they asked where we could get eclairs in town. I scoffed and got off the couch and got busy.
If you've never made Pate a Choux before, it isn't always a walk in the park. It can be temperamental. Here is my go to recipe, and it's certainly one of those recipes you need to read the steps before you get started.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat on the saucepan 1/2 cup of butter and one cup of water until melted completely.
Use a WOODEN SPOON (I can't stress this enough, don't use a whisk, don't use anything other than a wooden spoon) and stir in a pinch of salt and one cup of flour. You can gradually add in the flour and stir as the pastry dough creates a ball and pulls away from the pan.
Take off the heat and add your dough to your mixer. Use your dough hook and start on slow (Kitchenaid setting 2-3) and add in 4 eggs, one at a time. don't add them all at once because the heat of the dough will start cooking the eggs before the mix. Turn your mixer up to Med (5) and mix for a few moments until combined.
Use a round pastry tip in a pastry bag and spoon your mixture into bag.
Pipe your dough onto a greased baking sheet, about 2 inches long, and about 1 inch away from each other. Should make about 15 shells.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, and then turn down you heat to 300 and bake for another 20 minutes. Your shell should be hollow and airy. If you can pick up your shell and tap the bottom and it isn't soft, then you have succeeded.
If your shell is still doughy, then turn your oven off and close the door. Let your shells dry out for a good 5-10 minutes, checking them often.
Let your shells cool completely. While they are cooling, start your fillings and ganache.
I use one cup of heavy cream and about a cup or so of chocolate chips. Heat your heavy cream in saucepan until it is simmering. Take it off the burner and whisk in chocolate chips until your ganache is thick and dark.
For the filling, heavy whipping cream, whipped to it's finest. Instant pudding. Easy peasy.
Fill your shells and enjoy the heck out of them! You deserve it!