Steve’s Chocolate Éclairs

In Steve's Recipes by Steve Sliwa

Chocolate éclairs are just about my favorite dessert. There are generally three types of fillings: custard, cream, and pudding. I tend to prefer the former. But here I make all three and combine them. My view is that if you have a favorite, you will find the taste you like. So far, in a sampling of several dozen, I believe I have found the desired effect.

This particular recipe was a challenge to perfect and Nancy claims the kitchen looked like it exploded every time I made a batch.  I think I made 15 to 20 batches before it came out the way I wanted.


Custard Filling:           1 milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter


  • In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to a boil over medium heat.
  • Whisk in a portion of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until incorporated.
  • Pour egg mixture into remaining milk and whisk.
  • Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the saucepan.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
  • Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  • Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.


Cream Filling:               ½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup sugar (half granulated & half powdered)

1 tablespoon vanilla

  • Beat cream with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Beat in sugar and vanilla
  • Cool

Pudding                        2 servings jello refrigerated pudding

2 servings bakery shop pudding

Filling Mixture: 

  • Combine Custard, Cream, and Pudding prior to filling pastry for filling that is the best of all 3 worlds and should appeal to the widest audience.



1 cup water

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs, plus 1 extra, if needed

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
  • Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Stop mixing after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix until incorporated.
  • Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe fat lengths of dough (about the size and shape of a jumbo hot dog) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. You should have 8 to 10 lengths.


Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons water

  • In a bowl, whisk the egg and water together.

Preparing & Baking Pastry

  • Brush the surface of each eclair with the egg wash. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of points of dough that remain on the surface.
  • Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet.
  • Fit a medium-size plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole in the end of each eclair (or just use your fingertip). Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip, gently pipe the custard into the eclairs, using only just enough to fill the inside (careful no to over-stuff them full).


Chocolate Glaze:


  • Apply Chocolate Fudge or Milk Chocolate Frosting to Éclair
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