• Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Fill a pastry bag (fitted with 1/2 inch tube) with the pâte à choux.
  • Lightly grease and flour a baking pan and pipe small éclairs into it.
  • Brush egg wash on top and slightly smooth the éclairs.
  • Bake in upper third of oven for 15 minutes without opening the oven.
  • Reduce the temperature to 375°F.
  • Bake for an additional 10 minutes or more if not browned and crisp on all sides.
  • For small puffs, turn oven off after the initial 15 minutes and leave them in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • Fill as desired.

Crème patissière

Assemble and measure all ingredients before starting. Work quickly. For one cup:

1 1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup of milk
1 Tbsp of rum or Cognac

  • Sift flour in 2 quart mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk slightly with a fork.
  • Knead 2 Tbsp of butter with the heel of your hand and reserve.
  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
  • Pour half the milk in the flour bowl and beat quickly until smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and blend well.
  • Pour this mixture into the remaining milk (bring back to the boil if necessary) and cook for 30 seconds or until thick.
  • Cool by putting bottom of pan in cold water. Continue beating.
  • When just warm, add rum.
  • Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate icing

  • Bring 1/4 cup of whipping cream to a boil.
  • Melt in it 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate (Lindt or Tobler) in small pieces.
  • Add rum.
  • Put icing in warm plate and dip tops of the éclairs in it. Hold upside down for a few seconds.
  • Serve immediately. If you refrigerate the éclairs, they lose their shine.
  • If you keep them outside the refrigerator, the crème patissière deteriorates quickly.