Yield: 18 éclairs
Cost per Serving: $.19
- The pastry:
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- The frosting:
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine water, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; stir until butter melts. Add all flour at once and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Continue stirring until a film coats bottom of saucepan and dough is glossy, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl of a standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat at medium speed until thoroughly incorporated.
- Transfer warm dough to a pastry bag fitted with a plain or star tip with a 1/3- to 1/2-inch opening. Pipe 2 1/2- to 3-inchlong "fingers" of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
- Make frosting: Bring 1/4 cup heavy cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth; stir in oil and set aside.
- Cut top third off each pastry. Spoon Pastry Cream inside bottom portions. Dip tops into cooled, melted chocolate and invert onto éclair bases.
- For Pastry Cream, In bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour and 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch. Add 3 egg yolks and beat at medium-high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Scald 1 cup milk in a saucepan; drizzle into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring, until custard is thick and begins to boil. Cook for 1 minute more, and then remove from heat. Strain into a bowl, stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and let cool. Cover with waxed paper directly on surface and chill until cold. Just before serving, beat 1/2 cup heavy cream until stiff. Fold into custard. (Makes 2 1/4 cups)
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