Although I'd never really even considered making my own. Pastries and donuts and really any dessert that isn't cheesecake or cookies was totally out my league. But then one day my husband (oh so lovingly) said, "How come you've never made me custard filled eclairs? They're my favorite!"
Ok. You win husband.
Turns out these aren't even scary! I know I keep saying "Seriously it's so easy!" with everything I post. But seriously. It's so easy. AND how often do you show up to a party and someone brings custard filled eclairs? Basically never.
When I made these I hadn't planned on posting them in a blog, so my pictures are sparse. But its pretty basic stuff.
Custard. Pastry. Ganache.
Bake. Fill. Frost. Eat.
Custard Filled Eclairs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet baking chocolate (or chocolate chips)
6 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.
Combine butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to melt butter. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to form a stiff ball of dough.
Immediately remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition to ensure they are incorporated. I created a bowl shape in the dough to drop the egg in and mixed quickly, especially with the first one, to prevent it from cooking into scrambled eggs on the bottom of my warm pan.
With a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or cut the corner off a plastic baggie), pipe the thick dough onto prepared cookie sheet into 10 strips approximately 1 1/2 x 4″ each.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake another 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. When removed from oven, IMMEDIATELY pierce the ends almost through to the other side to let steam escape and prevent any sogginess in the middle. This hole is also where you will be piping your filling into. Let cool completely before filling and icing (this will only take about half an hour).
Meanwhile, combine pudding and milk in a bowl and mix according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Fold whipped cream into pudding.
Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a smallish tip (I enlarged my steam holes a bit to make my tip fit, so do whatever works) and pipe mixture into centers of eclairs until full. It's kind of messy, but I found if you let the custard chill in the fridge before filling the eclairs and then place them in the fridge when they are done they will set up nicely.
Finally for the ganache, heat 1/2 cup of chocolate and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir until completely melted. With a spoon spread the ganache on each eclair. Repeat with the remaining ganache ingredients if necessary. Store the eclairs in the fridge.
Recipe adapted from: Hidden Ponies
Show up to a party with these. You'll win.