Sometime this past week the roomies and I watched Paula Deen’s show on The Food Network and she made chocolate stuffed eclairs.  I thought I was going to drool on myself watching her make them.  Not only do they have the standard chocolate topping, she made a chocolate filling, too.  So yesterday, realizing that I probably had all the ingredients, I decided to make them.  Paula made it look so easy, I had no idea what I was in for.

I ran into a lot of issues making the eclairs.  Whether it was the recipe or just the fact that it was my first time, I don’t know.  But I hope that my failures will help other people making them.

I didn’t get pictures of the really messy parts because I tend to get whatever I’m making all over my hands, and dough and chocolate don’t mix well with brand new cameras.  First you make the dough, and then put it in a pastry bag to pipe onto a greased cookie sheet.

I used my half-moon tip and had to pipe it back and forth because the dough was sliding all over the cookie sheet (which is why my shells have ridges).

Take them out of the oven when they’re golden brown (probably not the whole 30 minutes given in the recipe).

The filling needs to be cooked until it has a pudding-like consistency (which is basically what it is).

Paula cut her shells open, but I didn’t want to do that, so I poked a hole in end to pipe in the filling (*see notes).

Instead of the topping, I used some left over fondue that I made a few nights before (it’s a basic combination of chocolate chips, skim milk, and some margarine).

 These are the “good” eclairs.  All mistakes aside, they turned out pretty well.

Chocolate Stuffed Eclairs (adapted from Paula Deen’s recipe)

Pastry Dough:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Icing:

  • 2 (1-ounce) squares chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat water and margarine or butter to boiling point. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and forms a ball. Remove from heat and let cool. Beat in 4 eggs, 1 at a time and once incorporated, place into a pastry bag. On a greased cookie sheet, pipe out dough in thick lines that form eclairs. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, prepare filling by sifting together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in about 1 cup milk and cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened or the consistency of mayonnaise. Add the rest of the milk and then temper in 3 beaten eggs and continue to cook until mixture has a pudding-like consistency, turning heat up to medium until mixture begins to thicken, then return to low.  Remove from heat, cool and add vanilla.

Using pastry tip, poke a hole in one end of the pastry shell. Pipe custard mixture into the center. Melt chocolate for icing, add sugar and cream. Cook over medium heat until soft ball stage. Let cool and beat until smooth. Ice tops of the eclairs.  Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Watch the pastry shells very carefully when they’re in the oven.  Mine came out kind of crispy, which made it harder to fill them since the ends were falling off.  But do not underbake because the shells will get softer after filling.

Be sure filling is completely cool before filling pastry shells.

*I had trouble filling the pastry shells as they were, so I used the end of a fork to swish around the inside to make room for the filling.  Fill slowly.  Do not overfill them or the shells will fall apart.

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