I’ll never forget my first trip to Paris. I was eighteen, and my mom and I celebrated my high school graduation with a dream trip where we meandered through Claude Monet’s waterlilies, strolled along the Seine, gazed at Picassos, and of course, sampled as much French food as one could possibly taste in the span of a week. One of the things that left an indelible impression was the beauty of Paris’ patisserie windows. Rows and rows of pastel macarons, chocolate-dipped madeleines, towering napoleons and berry-covered tarts. My favorite of these confections may have been the classic éclairs; biting into the light-as-air pastry revealed a delicious filling that could have been vanilla custard, or maybe pistachio or coffee cream.Thankfully, my mom has mastered the art of recreating these beauties at home, and her version boasts the same light choux dough from my Parisian memories: crispy on the outside and hollow on the inside to leave room for plenty of fluffy cream. Since I’ve always been a bit intimidated to make them myself, I asked her to break it down for us — and turns out, it’s easy as, well, pie. We made two versions: one with a Frangelico-spiked ganache that’s topped with toasted hazelnuts; the other infused with raspberry. Keep reading for the recipe, and more photos by the lovely Kim Jones

These are great made in advance for a party: the unfilled éclairs can be frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to use, just thaw to room temperature, then slice, fill and drizzle with ganache!

Hazelnut & Raspberry Éclairs

Ingredients:

pastry:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

chocolate ganache:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablepoon hazelnut liqueur (like Frangelico)
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)

whipped cream filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

garnish:

  • fresh raspberries
  • hazelnuts, skin removed and lightly toasted, then chopped

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400°. Chill a medium bowl and the beaters to your electric mixer in the freezer (these will be used for the whipped cream.) In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, until the dough comes together and a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and beat at medium speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip. Pipe twelve 5-inch-long logs onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325° and bake the shells for 30 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool. make the ganache: In a small saucepan, heat the cream until almost boiling. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, then pour the hot cream over the top. Let sit for a couple minutes to let the chocolate start melting, then stir together until smooth. Remove half the melted chocolate to a separate bowl. Add the hazelnut liqueur to one bowl, and add the raspberry liqueur to the other bowl. Stir both together to combine, then allow to cool. make the whipped cream: Remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer, then whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner’s sugar, then continue whipping just until peaks are firm (don’t over mix.) put it all together: With a serrated knife, split the éclair shells lengthwise. Spoon a generous amount of the whipped cream into the bottom half of each shell. Top with the other half of each shell, then use a spoon to drizzle a generous amount of chocolate ganache over each one, topping half with the hazelnut ganache and half with the raspberry ganache.  Garnish with the fresh raspberries and chopped hazelnuts, matching up the flavors of the corresponding ganache.

*photos by Kim Jones

 *choux dough recipe adapted from food & wine

3 comments
  1. 1
    delia | March 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    They look delicious! 🙂

    Reply
  2. 2
    rlopez2503 | March 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Ok, my mouth is officially watering for these delicious looking eclairs!

    Reply
  3. 3
    Lily | March 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Holy NOM.

    xo Lily
    http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com

    Reply
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