A tantalizing specialty that is easy to prepare yet worthy of display in a favorite French pâtisserie, Cherry Éclairs feature delicate shells of choux pastry; a luscious, cherry-infused cream filling; and rich chocolate glaze crowned with a sprinkling of edible gold leaf.
- ¾ cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 recipe Cherry Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
- 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
- Garnish: edible gold leaf*
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, heat ¾ cup water, butter, sugar, and salt over medium heat until butter melts. Add all flour at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until dough pulls away from sides of pan, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let stand for 2 minutes, stirring a few times to cool dough. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a mixer at medium-high speed until dough is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip*. Pipe dough in 5-inch lengths 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (Pat dough with damp finger, if needed, for additional shaping.)
- Bake for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350°, and bake until puffs are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. (Insides will be dry). Let puffs cool completely. Using the tip of a wooden spoon handle, poke two holes in the bottom of the shell.
- Place Cherry Pastry Cream in a separate piping bag with tip cut off, and pipe into holes of shells. Dip tops of filled shells in Chocolate Glaze, and refrigerate until served. Before serving, top with bits of edible gold leaf, if desired.
Note: Éclair shells can be made in advance and frozen (unfilled) in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Let thaw completely before filling. Pastry cream can be made 1 day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cherry extract
- In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, whisking well.
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until very hot but not boiling. Add hot milk to egg mixture very slowly, whisking constantly, to temper eggs. Add cornstarch and salt, whisking until incorporated.
- Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, vanilla extract, and cherry extract.
- Pour into a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, letting plastic touch surface of custard. Refrigerate until cold, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
- Place heavy cream in a wide glass bowl. Heat in the microwave on high until steaming, about 1 minute. Add chocolate, and whisk to combine.
Text Melissa Lester
Photography Marcy Black Simpson
Styling Melissa Sturdivant Smith
Recipe Development and Food Styling Elizabeth Stringer
For more mouthwatering desserts, see “L’Amour de Chocolat” on page 33 of the January/February 2018 issue of Victoria.