Learn everything you need to know about making perfect French Chocolate Eclairs in this foolproof step-by-step guide to making this classic French pastry. Deliciously crisp choux pastry filled with Chantilly cream and topped with glossy chocolate!
This classic French pastry is actually much easier to make than you think. In this recipe I’ll be giving you my top 3 tips to make you eclairs look just like the ones made in professional French patisseries.
The Filling options are endless!
Fillings wise these are traditionally filled with pastry cream, but you can fill them with anything you like! Here’s some of my favorite filling options!
- Vanilla Pastry Cream – packed full of vanilla bean specks and so delicious! If filling with this or chocolate pastry cream, prepare the day before.
- Chocolate Pastry Cream – not overly sweet and perfect for chocolate lovers!
- Chantilly Cream – a perfectly light and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- Chocolate Sauce – this one-bowl chocolate sauce recipe si the perfect glossy glaze for your eclairs!
What makes Chocolate Eclairs so amazing?
Chocolate eclairs are a French pastry piped in a long log shape, typically filled with pastry cream or Chantilly Cream and topped with chocolate glaze.
- A light, airy and crispy choux pastry is easy to achieve! It’s all about getting the right consistency and knowing what to look for. I’ve got you covered in this recipe and I’ll show you a simple way to test your dough before piping.
- The filling options are endless! The main fillings are pastry cream and Chantilly cream but you can choose pretty much any filling you like to make loads of different flavours.
- A glossy chocolate glaze is easy with my Chocolate Sauce Recipe! One of the best things about classic eclairs is the chocolate glaze on top. I don’t know about you but I love my glaze glossy! And I have an easy recipe with simple ingredients to help you finish these off beautifully!
- Single serve! These are the perfect fancy finger food for your dinner party!
3 Ways to get PERFECT Chocolate Eclairs
Ok, here are my Top 3 tips to easily getting PERFECTLY looking eclairs.
1. Use bread flour – you can use all-purpose but I feel like bread flour gives you a stronger, crisper éclair.
2. Use a French star tip to pipe your eclairs. It helps the eclairs rise and bake in a nice even shape with no cracks. I used a 1.2cm / 1/2-inch French star tip. Pipe them 10cm in length, pipe the ends slightly wider than the middle.
3. Dust with powdered sugar – to get a nice crisp and slightly sweetened golden-brown éclair.
No More Soggy Flat Eclairs! Here are my tips and tricks.
Have a read through these tips and tricks if you want perfect eclairs!
- For best results, use Silpat mats to bake your eclairs. It gives you a better shaped éclair that doesn’t look lopsided. You can use baking paper, they will still come out looking great but your chances are higher with silicone baking mats that don’t buckle with moisture.
- Dust each eclair with powdered sugar to get a delightful caramelized looking éclair and yummy crunch with each bite!
- Use a finger dipped in water to smoothen out the edges of your eclairs to stop any jagged edges as you’re piping from burning.
- Let your eclairs cool in the oven first before taking out to prevent from collapsing. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- If making pastry cream filling, prepare the day before.
- Getting the right choux pastry consistency is easy! Simply add your whisked eggs one at a time, mixing each time. Once finished, test it by pinching some dough between two fingers. It should be stretchy, slightly shiny and no break as you pull apart. If it’s too stiff and breaks, add another tablespoon of whisked egg and mix before testing again.
- Use a French star tip instead of a round tip for a perfectly shaped éclair. This helps the éclair rise more evenly without it cracking and baking into funny shapes.
- Bake eclairs in dog bone shapes so that they come out a uniform shape. The middle rises more than the ends when they bake.
- Bake eclairs on the middle rack of your oven for even baking results.
- Bake eclairs one tray at a time. Pipe one tray of eclairs, 8 on a half sheet baking tray. Then once they’re finished baking, pipe the second tray and bake.
Ingredients You Need To Make Chocolate Eclairs.
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button bellow.Jump to Recipe
- Unsalted butter – if using salted butter, leave out the salt.
- Granulated sugar – you can use superfine or granulated sugar. Both will work.
- Salt – I used fine salt.
- Bread flour – I would recommend using bread flour, a flour higher in gluten than regular all-purpose flour for nicely shaped
- Eggs – I used large eggs. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
- Powdered sugar – dust it on top for a golden brown, crispy éclair!
How to make Chocolate Eclairs!
- Heat butter, water, sugar and salt
- Add flour and mix into a dough
- Add whisked egg 1/4 at a time, mixing each time.
- Until a glossy, stretchy dough forms
- Pipe eclairs
- Dab the ends with water to smoothen out
- Dust with powdered sugar
- Bake until golden. Leave door open for final 5-10 minutes to cool.
- Pierce two holes in the bottom of each éclair
- Fill with Chantilly Cream
- Dip tops in Chocolate Sauce and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions about Chocolate Eclairs
What does it taste like?
Crispy, airy choux pastry filled with Chantilly cream infused with vanilla beans and topped with a glossy chocolate glaze. They all come together to create a not-overly sweet dessert!
How long do eclairs last?
You can make these up to three days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can eclairs be frozen?
Unfilled eclairs can be frozen, thawed, filled and glazes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks.
Are eclairs and cream puffs the same thing?
No, but they’re both made out of the exact same ingredients. One is in a long log shape, the other is a ball-like shape.
How do I know if my choux pastry dough is the right consistency?
Easy! Pinch some in between two fingers and if it stretches without breaking, it’s done! It should also be shiny and able to hold its shape. If it breaks and is too stiff, add another tablespoon of whisked egg, mix and test again.
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- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1/3 cup (70 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (150 g) bread flour spooned and levelled (see notes)
- 4 (55 g) large eggs room temperature (see notes)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar to dust
- 1 batch Chocolate Sauce
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
To Make The Choux Pastry Dough
- Measure out all ingredients. Read through the recipe before beginning. If filling the eclairs with pastry cream, prepare the day before. If filling with Chantilly Cream, prepare while eclairs are baking and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 190C / 375F. Line two half sheet baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats (for best results). If using baking paper stick some of the choux pastry under the baking paper to help it stick to the baking tray.
- Add the water, butter, and sugar to a large saucepan. Place on medium heat and stir until butter has melted and it begins bubbling around the sides.
- Once bubbles appear, turn off the heat and add the flour. Stir immediately using a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
- Turn the heat back on and mix continuously for 2-3 minutes. If using a stainless steal pan you’ll notice a film of dough forming on the bottom. This won’t happen with a non-stick pan.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the eggs together. Add 1/4 of the eggs into the cooled dough and mix until well combined. Add the next 1/4 and continue until all eggs are in the dough.
To Test The Dough Texture
- You’re looking for the right texture here. Most of the time, 4 eggs is the perfect amount. Pinch some dough between two fingers. When stretched apart the dough shouldn’t break but be stiff enough to hold it’s shape. The dough will also be smooth and slightly shiny. If the dough is not at this consistency, whisk another egg and add 1 tbsp at a time until you get the right consistency. If it’s too soft, you’ve added too much egg and need to start again.
- Add the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a 1.2cm / 1/2-inch French star piping tip. See notes for more info. You can use a star tip or round tip, similar in size. The French star tip will give you a really nice shape.
- Pipe 10cm / 4-inch long eclairs on baking tray. You want each end of the éclair to be slightly wider than the middle. Dip your finger into some water and smoothen out the end you finished piping on. Pointy jagged edges will burn in the oven.
- Dust the tops with powdered sugar (this helps them keep their shape and slightly sweetens them).
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30-35 minutes until they’ve turned golden brown. Open the oven door slightly and place a wooden spoon to keep door ajar for 5 minutes before taking out. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Use the end of a fork or knife to prick two holes in the bottom of each éclair. Add your filling to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. See ingredients list for filling options. Insert piping bag into holes and fill eclairs. They will become heavier as they’re filled.
- Make the Chocolate Sauce Recipe while eclairs are baking. consistency. Dip the top of each éclair
- in the sauce and shuffle it about a little to make sure it coats the éclair properly. Lift up to allow as much excess chocolate sauce to drip off.
- Allow the chocolate to set. Serve! I like serving mine nice and chilled out of the fridge, but they can be served out at room temperature.