Delicious éclairs from the pastry kitchen at the fabulous Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. If you don't want to try your hand at this recipe, you can always leave it to the professionals and pick some up as well! Enjoy!
Mix sugar and pectin with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice. Strain into a container. Keep refrigerated. (Should keep for several months if stored properly under refrigeration).
For the Éclair Glaze:
Partially melt the chocolate over low heat or in the microwave. Bring the cream to a boil and pour 1/3 of the hot cream over the chocolate. (This will continue to melt the chocolate.) Add remaining cream slowly stirring constantly to make a smooth glossy texture. Heat neutral glaze to liquid and add to ganache stirring with spatula to avoid air bubbles. Strain into a container.
For the Pâte à Choux:
Heat oven to 375°F. In a pot, bring to a boil the water, milk, salt, sugar and butter. Stir flour into liquid and dry the dough on medium to high heat. Dough will form a ball when ready. Using paddle attachment on electric mixer mix dough adding 1 egg at a time. When all eggs are incorporated the dough will be thick and shiny. Spoon dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3” diameter plain or star tip. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe dough out onto baking sheet making each éclair approximately 4½” long. Bake for 12 minutes at 375°F and then rotate sheet pan and finish baking at 325°F for another 8 minutes or until éclairs are a dark golden color.
For the Pastry Cream:
Scald milk with vanilla bean. Mix sugar with cornstarch to avoid any lumps. Mix in eggs and salt. Slowly poor in 1/3 of the milk with eggs and sugar mixture. Return to heat. Whisk cream continuously being sure not to scorch. As soon as the first bubbles reach the surface, remove from heat and strain. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to avoid a skin from forming. When temperature reaches 120°F, use hand blender to mix in butter. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (Pastry cream will keep in refrigerator up to a week.)
Poke hole on one end of the éclair shell with a small pastry tip. Using a skewer poke through the hole to break up any pastry that might get in the way. Using a squirt bottle or pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip squeeze pastry cream into éclair shell. Make sure to shake the shell so the pastry cream is distributed throughout the éclair. Éclairs should feel heavy when filled. If they feel too light, the éclair needs more cream. Warm Éclair glaze slightly to about 90°F and stir to avoid any lumps. Dip éclairs in glaze being sure to shake the excess off. Decorate as desired. Examples: chocolate pearls, homemade mini marshmallows, nuts, etc.
Please note: Éclairs last 1 to 2 days maximum and must be refrigerated.