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Éclairs

Yield: a lot (depends on size)

Pate A Choux:
4 cups Water
1 1/4 cups Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
3 3/4 cups Flour
10 - 14 Eggs

Pastry Cream:
2 cups Milk
1/2 Vanilla bean
1/2 cup Sugar
4 Egg yolks
3 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/8 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter

1 1/2 cups Chocolate chips (milk or dark) 

Pate A Choux:
In a pot add water, butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil remove from heat and add all the flour at once. Mix with a wooden spoon and continue mixing till it starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Transfer to a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on high till you do not see any more steam coming from the mix.

Now add the eggs one by one, incorporating them completely before adding another. After the 6th egg test the dough. To test, take some dough between your thumb and index finger and pull it apart. If the dough does not stay together in a string between your fingers add another egg. Continue adding eggs until you get this result. You may not use all eggs. When done place the mix in a piping bag with a large star tip. For visual instructions see our Pate a Choux step-by-step instructions.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and pipe rows of 4 inch long lines, make sure to keep the same thickness all the way through the line. Egg wash each line and bake at 375 F until golden brown. Remove from oven and let dry out for about least 2 hours.

Pastry Cream:
Put milk in a pot with 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla bean and its seeds (Take vanilla bean and cut it open lengthwise. Then scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk). Add the butter to the pot also and heat over medium heat. In a bowl add the egg yolks, 1/8 cup sugar, and cornstarch and whisk to incorporate. Now, temper the milk mixture into the eggs by slowly adding a little at a time and constantly stirring. When both are completely mixed together, strain into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the pastry cream so no skin with form. Chill until cold. For visual instructions see our Crème Anglaise step-by-step instructions.

When the pastry cream is chilled place in a piping bag with a medium plain tip. Poke two little holes in the bottom of the éclairs so that the tip can fit into it. Pipe the pastry cream into the éclair carefully not to overfill, the éclair should feel a lot heavier when filled. Once filled set aside and finish the rest. 

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. How to.... When chocolate is melted take the éclair and dip only the top into the chocolate. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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