If you’re in search of a unique eclair flavor then look no further than this incredibly easy recipe for cappuccino eclairs! The thick vanilla cappuccino filling is a flavor sensation you’ll want to eat with a spoon! The sweet chocolate glaze ties all the flavors together!
To make eclairs, you need to make pate a choux dough. I first experimented with this last winter when I made apple pie profiteroles. The process can seem a bit intimidating because you sort of cook the dough a little on the stove top before popping it into the oven. It starts with bringing water and butter to a boil, then adding in flour. You have to stir like crazy to get the flour incorporated. The dough will form itself into a ball once it is well mixed. Finally, eggs are added in to create this smooth pipable dough. As the dough bakes, it will puff up and expand.
You will see pate a choux in any eclair, cream puff, and churro recipe. It’s easy to make but can be a bit hard to stir by hand. When I first made it, I mixed everything by hand. And it’s a workout for sure. For today’s cappuccino éclairs, I used the stand mixer. It’s so much easier that way!
These cappuccino eclairs are filled with a basic pastry cream with the addition of instant cappuccino powder. I chose vanilla flavored, but you can use any flavor you prefer. Feel free to experiment here.
For the filling
- 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons instant vanilla cappuccino powder or your favorite flavor
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cream puff pastry
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs room temperature
For the glaze
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped fine
Make the filling
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk it together thoroughly. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. If you happen to scramble the eggs, run the custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove any bits of egg. Transfer the custard to a medium bowl. Cover by pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.
Make the shells
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bring water and butter to a boil over medium heat. Add the salt and flour. Stir vigorously until the mixture no longer sticks to the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Continue to cook for 1 minute longer while still stirring. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low for 3 minutes to cool the dough. (Do not add the eggs to hot dough, they will scramble.) With the mixture running on low speed, beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat the mixture until smooth. Fit a piping bag with a large round piping tip. Fill the bag with the dough. Pipe the dough into 8 5-inch long logs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until shells are puffed up and golden. Immediately pierce the ends with a skewer or small knife to release the steam. (Take care, the pastries are hot) Cool on the pan in a draft-free place.
Once shells have cooled completely, reinsert a skewer into each end to make a cavity for the filling. Fit a piping bag with a small round tip and fill the bag with the cappuccino custard. Pipe the custard into each end of the shells.
Make the glaze
Combine the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until the chocolate has melted completely, stir constantly. Use a spoon to spread the glaze over each pastry. Give the éclairs a few minutes to set before serving.
The shells can be made a day ahead. Store them in an airtight container. Don't fill them until they are ready to be served so they don't become soggy.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.