Éclair cake

Model: Bishop Black

You’ll need

For the pastry cream
100g sugar
4 egg yolks
40g cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
350g milk
100g heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30g unsalted butter

For the pâte à choux
115g milk
115g water
60g butter
1 tsp salt
180g flour
5 eggs

For the chocolate ganache
230g cream
1/2 tsp salt
200g dark chocolate

Directions

Make the pastry cream: Stir together the sugar, yolks, cornstarch, and salt in a heatproof bowl. Combine the milk, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat and heat until hot. While whisking, slowly stream about half of the hot liquid in the yolk mixture. Pour this tempered yolk mixture into the pot with the rest of the milk mixture.

Cook over low to medium-low heat for 4 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until bubbling and thickened like pudding. Turn off the heat, then mix in the butter. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold.

Make the pâte à choux: In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat. Stir in all of the flour with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes sticky paste and there’s a visible film of starch on the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs in a slow, steady stream and continue mixing until totally incorporated, about 4 minutes total. Dip the paddle into the batter and lift it up—the batter should form a V shape that eventually breaks away from the batter in the bowl. If the dough is too stiff or pulls away too quickly, add another egg to loosen the consistency.

Bake the pâte à choux: Heat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe or spread the choux evenly into a large circle. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. (Don’t open the oven during the first 25 minutes, otherwise the choux will depuff.) Transfer the baked choux circles to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the ganache: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and salt. Wait a few minutes, then stir until the chocolate is silky smooth. Let cool until room temperature.

Assemble the éclair cake: Using a serrated knife, slice open the round choux. Place one choux circle at the bottom of a serving plate. Stir the pastry cream to smooth out, then evenly spread that on top. Place the second choux circle on top. Spread the chocolate ganache on top. Refrigerate preferably for 1-2 hours before serving.

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