Satisfy you sugar cravings with these decadent coffee-flavored eclairs, consisting of crispy choux pastry filled with coffee whipped cream. It’s a dessert you didn’t know you needed!
Coffee + choux pastry is an addicting combination that many people will love! These coffee eclairs have a crisp exterior, a coffee-flavored cream, and a coffee glaze, all topped with a white chocolate drizzle and chopped almonds. It sounds rather sweet, but isn’t since choux pastry is not sweet at all. While the eclairs are decadent, they taste light and are perfect for breakfast or dessert.
First off, what is an eclair?
An eclair is a long pastry that is puffed up by steam from water, butter, milk, and eggs. The pastry is not sweetened at all so all sweeteners come from fillings and toppings. An eclair should be slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The pastry dough is the same dough used in a cream puff. However, eclairs are trickier to make due to its oblong shape.
This recipe produces beautiful eclairs, but eclairs are a finicky dessert, so small mistakes or factors can result in below-average eclairs. I tested this recipe 3 times until I got the best eclairs. Here are important tips to note:
- Eggs must be at room temperature.
- A silicone mat is better than parchment paper for baking. I tried both, and the ones on parchment paper were a bit lopsided. The GRIDMANN and Zulay baking mats are good options.
- Use bread flour rather than all-purpose or cake flour. Bread flour contains more gluten which allows the shell to hold its shape better.
- Do not undercook or overcook the dough. Watch the video to check what the dough should look like and check the directions for timing. The dough should be smooth without clumps and should leave a thin layer of dough on the bottom of the pan. Do not scape off the layer stuck to the pan.
- Completely mix in one egg before mixing in the next. Add egg gradually in small batches if you feel the dough is too dry.
- The dough consistency cannot be too runny or too stiff. Check video for dough consistency.
- Use a star piping tip rather than a round tip. When I used a round tip, my eclairs spread out and became pretty flat. A star tip prevents spreading. I use Wilton Star Tip 6B.
- To pipe uniform eclairs, you may consider using an eclair stencil underneath. I eyeballed my eclairs, so they weren’t all the same length.
- Dust eclairs with powdered sugar before baking. This also prevents spreading. We want the eclairs to puff more vertically rather than horizontally.
- DO NOT open the oven before the eclairs are completely baked. If you do so, the eclairs will collapse due to remaining steam inside. It is tricky to know when the eclairs are completely baked since ovens are different, but I find that baking on the middle rack for 30-35 min. worked well. The eclair shells should be quite brown. Once the shells are baked, turn the heat off, open the oven door slightly, and allow the shells to dry out in there for 5-10 min. with remaining heat. You can then remove the shells from the oven and pierce a small hole at the bottom to allow air into the shells.
- Once cream is piped into the eclairs, the shells become softer and softer so it is best to eat while fresh. You may eat them later, but the shells won’t be as crisp.
- Eclairs freeze extremely well! If you choose to freeze, allow them to thaw for 10-15 min. before eating.
- Do not make the glaze too runny. It is better to add less water than more water since you can add more water later, but cannot remove water.
Whew, that’s a lot of tips, but eclairs can be quite tricky to make so its important to be precise. I have failed many times before, so don’t worry if you fail. The good thing is, even if the eclairs do turn out unattractive, they are probably still tasty with some cream added.
yield: 10 eclairs
*Using ingredients by weight is much more accurate.
For choux pastry:
- 65 g. or 0.27 c. water
- 65 g. or 0.27 c. whole milk
- 55 g. or 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 g. or 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 2 g. or 1/4 tsp. salt
- 75 g. or 0.55 c. bread flour
- 2-3 large eggs, room temperature (I used 2. Please watch video for batter consistency. Consistency is really important!)
- powder sugar to dust
- 230 g. or 1 c. heavy cream
- 25 g. or 1/4 c. instant sweetened mocha/cappuccino powder (I use Hills Bros. classic cappuccino mix. It is pre-sweetened so I add less sugar later)
- 4 g. or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4-12 g. or 1-3 tsp. granulated sugar as needed
- 80 g. or 2/3 c. powdered sugar
- 4-8 g. or 2-3 tsp. water
- 8 g. or 1 tbsp. instant sweetened mocha/cappuccino powder (I use Hills Bros. classic cappuccino mix.)
- cooled, melted white chocolate to drizzle
- chopped almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- To make the coffee cream, whip the cream, sweetened cappuccino powder, vanilla, and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until whipped to cream consistency. Chill in fridge.
- To make the choux pastry, add water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt into a pot over medium heat and stir gently until the mixture comes to a boil. You will see small bubbles.
- Remove the pot from heat and add the flour at once. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated into the liquid mix. There should be no flour clumps. This step takes about 2 min.
- Return the pot to medium heat and cook the mixture for 2-3 min. while stirring the dough continuously.
- Pour the dough into a bowl and spread the dough out so it can cool. Allow to cool for 6-8 min. or until warm.
- Once the dough is warm, add in 1 egg at a time and mix . Do not add the next egg until the previous egg is completely incorporated in. For this step, you will use 2 to 3 large eggs, or somewhere in between. Watch the video for consistency since you don’t wan’t the batter to be too dry or runny. I used this recipe twice and found that 2 large eggs + 1 tsp. egg works, but the choux dough consistency can change due to factors like humidity, so it is difficult to share an exact amount of egg needed.
- Once the dough is incorporated, place into a piping bag with a large star piping tip. Pipe eclairs onto a tray with a non-stick baking mat. Dip fingers in water and correct misshapen dough as needed. Dust with powdered sugar and bake at 375 F for 30-35 min. or until golden brown.
- Turn the heat off and open the oven door slightly. Leave the eclairs in for an additional 5-10 min. to allow the shells to dry out. (This step may not be needed if you live in a drier area).
- Pierce the eclair shells on the bottom with a small hole and cool on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, slice the eclairs in half. Slicing is optional, but I do so so that I can see the cream on the inside. Place the chilled coffee cream in a piping bag and pipe cream in the middle for all eclairs. Place eclairs on a tray and freeze for 30 min.
- In the meantime, combine the glaze ingredients together. Make sure to add the water in small batches so that the glaze is not too runny. The glaze should be pretty thick.
- Dip the top of the frozen eclairs into the glaze and a gently shake the eclair so that excess glaze falls off. Place on a cooling rack. The glaze should be thick enough so that the glaze does not run off the sides of the eclair. If it does, that means the glaze is too runny and you can add more powder sugar to thicken the glaze.
- The glaze should harden in 15 min. You can drizzle on the white chocolate before or after the glaze has hardened. If you drizzle before, the white chocolate will be a part of the glaze, if you drizzle after, the white chocolate will sit on top of the glaze. Sprinkle on chopped almonds and enjoy!
*Nutrition facts are estimates.
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