Daring Bakers in August: Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs

August 31, 2008 at 4:25 am | Posted in daring bakers, groups, other sweet, sweet things | 63 Comments

chocolate éclairs by Pierre Hermé

Éclairs may be my husband’s favorite pastry.  He blames a box of éclairs that I made and brought home while in cooking school for sending him on a downward sweets spiral that resulted in him being on a diet for like two years after my graduation!  I blame his lack of self-control.  Let’s see if he can keep it together for this month’s Daring Bakers event– Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey? and Tony of Olive Juice have challenged us to make éclairs.  Not just any éclairs, but Pierre Hermé’s éclairs.

chocolate éclairs by Pierre Hermé

Éclairs are made from choux pastry, usually filled with pastry cream and dipped in chocolate. They’re just like a cream puff, but elongated instead of round.  Meeta and Tony wanted us to keep either the glaze or the pastry cream chocolate, but gave us free reign to make one of them non-chocolate.  I kept the chocolate on top and filled mine with a coffee-wattleseed pastry cream.

It wasn’t until I took that top picture, that I noticed that from the side, my éclair looked a little weird.  “What’s with this thing?” I thought.  I usually prefer not to cut éclairs in half in order to fill them.  Looks-wise, I like them better when they are kept intact and filled through a small hole in the back or on the bottom.  But I was fast running out of daylight for my photos, so I figured I’d cut them in half to cool quicker and just assemble and photograph one right away.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that rather than filling the bottom half of the éclair I photoed with pastry cream, I’d filled the top half of another one, and then sandwiched the two together.  D’oh!  I thought about a redo but then I decided to leave it, so you can have a glimpse of what it’s like to be me, the master (or mistress, I guess) of imperfection.

I made Dorie’s pâte à choux not too long ago, and I think I preferred it.  The ingredients aren’t too different, although this one from Hermé has an additional egg.  Perhaps that’s why it seemd a little crustier than I’m used to.  I also had to bake it a bit longer than the recommended 20 minutes to dry it out and get it the shade of brown I like.   I do love the chocolate sauce, though.  It is delicious, and luckily I have a bunch left over..it will be great on ice cream.

chocolate éclairs by Pierre Hermé

Check out the DB blogroll!  And visit Meeta or Tony for the recipe (which was adapted from Chocolate Desserts By Pierre Hermé).

DB whisk


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  1. In German they are also called love bones … Great work, unfortunately I don’t care for them.

  2. What’s a little aesthetic imperfection in a delicious éclair? Your filling sounds very good.

  3. This looks wonderful! I love the sprinkles on top. I prefer Dorie’s version too. I also had leftover chocolate sauce that I can’t wait to have with ice cream!

  4. That coffee-wattle seed pastry creme sounds heavenly… I’m still dying to get my hands on some wattle seed! Lovely work on the challenge, your eclairs look delicious. 🙂

  5. i wouldnt have even noticed the two mismatched pieces that is just too funny though.

  6. I wished I had filled them the way you described, not the way directed in the recipe too! Oh well 😦 They were still tasty… I had major issues with my pastry cream, but I will get it eventually!

  7. Oooh, your Éclair looks trés magnifique! 🙂

  8. I think you posted a little early on this month’s challenge… but they do look simply delicious! Wish I could have a bite 🙂

  9. OH JIMMIES ON TOP!! Now why didn’t I think of that?! You eclairs look scrumptious and puffy.

  10. thanks everyone!

    breadchick–I have a feeling PH would roll his eyes if he saw me use jimmies on his eclairs, but i couldn’t resist!

    RecipeGirl–I live in Australia, so I’m a day ahead of you in the States. We are already well into the 31st here.

  11. Your Eclairs look perfect and ever so beautiful!

    I also had to bake my cream puffs longer than mentioned in the recipe…



  12. Those boys! They always blame us for their weight, don’t they. Your eclairs look great. I couldn’t get any good looking ones, so only the cream puffs are on display.

  13. Looks amazing! Can’t wait to post mine during my time tomorrow.

  14. I would never have noticed any ‘imperfection’ if you hadn’t mentioned it, your eclair looks divine!!! Just looking at ecalirs is persuading me too eat them, i wish I had have eaten more of the ones I made. Thanks for the egg tip I will have to try that when I make some more 🙂

  15. These look wonderful! and the sprinkles? Cute!

  16. Yum! Your eclairs looks great. I alos love the spotty background!!

  17. I didn’t even notice anything was amiss with your first photo… I was too busy being jealous of your wonderful results! Beautifully done! 🙂

  18. I never would have known that your eclair was upside down! They look absolutely beautiful, especially with the pretty background.

  19. Yours look like they’re straight out of a magazine. Fantastic eclairs!

  20. Your eclairs look fabulous Steph! (no surprise there!) I finally managed to successfully make choux pastry myself, of which I am quite proud. Mine are not a patch on yours though!

  21. They look delicious Steph.

  22. they really look delicious! I used coffee filling as well.

  23. Beautiful!

  24. Wonderful éclairs, really…

  25. This is a beautifully formed eclair, even though it’s both tops. I would never have noticed. Just the right light crustiness. I’m also going to have icecream and chocolate sauce.

  26. Really pretty & delicious looking. I love the coffe-wattleseed in it…how exotic & out of this world it sounds. YUM!

  27. great photos and great eclairs. they look su so yummy. I m always amazed with your baking 🙂

  28. Gorgeous!!!

  29. I think yours looks lovely even if it is two tops. Thanks for mentioning your other post. I was wondering if I could cut down the eggs as I mention in my write up they did taste a bit omelet like when they had sat around for a couple of hours, though gluten free flour always changes things too. I may try adapting the other recipe you mention though and see how they differ.

  30. I would have never known you used two tops if you hadn’t told us! They look awesome!

  31. love the polka dot background. your eclairs look great too.
    xx fanny

  32. Oooh I love eclairs…these look delicious 🙂

    I wish I could see the filling!

  33. perfecton as usual, no matter what you think. YOu are fantastic!

  34. If you hadn’t pointed out the bottom, I would never have noticed – I was too busy admiring the entire picture.

  35. well done!

  36. mmm your éclairs look sooo good!
    I love how you’ve decorated them with the sprinkles and I used a spotty background for taking pictures of my éclairs too hehehe 😀
    great job

  37. Love the sprinkles on top! They look wonderful.

  38. Love the sprinkles on top! They look so delicious! Great job!

  39. These look absolutely delicious! I love the chocolate sprinkles on top and I actually lie the way it looks with two tops!

  40. Very very pretty eclair!!

  41. You are way too hard on yourself!! They are decadent and I love the jimmies on top! Wakes up my inner child!!

  42. great pictures, love the sprinkles.

  43. Those look really nice, I like the sprinkles on top.

  44. Well, you absolutely have the best photos! The dotted backdrop really creates a festive picture.

  45. Gorgeous! I didn’t see any imperfections, they look flawless.

  46. Yum! I love the chocolate jimmys on top!

  47. Great job! I didn’t even notice until I went back and looked. I like the sprinkles on top and the background is awesome…I love polka dots.

  48. Sigh. I am still so bummed that I waited too long to make these before the deadline. I have bookmarked it to still make them though. Yours look beautiful!!

  49. Your eclairs look gorgeous! I love the jimmies on top, too. Beautiful job!

  50. Since I first heard about wattle seed I’ve been wanting to research getting my hands on some. When my items don’t come out quite right, which is often, I think about what a women, who taught me how to quilt once said, “It wouldn’t be unique and interesting if it was perfect and where’s the fun in that.” Your eclairs look very tasty!

  51. Looks delicious and extra inviting with the chocolate sprinkles on top. Chocolate overload!

  52. Your eclairs look oh so beautiful

  53. Love the sprinkles! great job on your eclairs and lovely photos too!

  54. Your eclairs look gorgeous! Great job!

  55. I’m gutted I missed out on this month’s DB! I’d even scored some pistachio paste for the pastry cream! Your eclairs certainly look diet-inducing! 😉

  56. I think your eclairs look perfect and they sound perfectly delicious. A coffee filling sounds right up my alley! Nicely done.

  57. Wonderfully beautiful! They are perfect and I love the polka dot background.

  58. Oops! Nevermind the mistake.. they look so lovely all the same 🙂

  59. Those eclairs look lovely! So it wasnt just me that had to bake them longer then…!! Great job Steph!

  60. Looks great to me! Very nice and I love the look of the little chocolate sprinkles. 🙂


  61. great job! these look delicious.

  62. Hmm… I’ve heard of coffee, but what’s a wattleseed?! Well, whatever it is, I’m sure it was tasty. Way to go on this month’s challenge, the eclairs look amazing

  63. They look and sound fabulous! I love the addition of sprinkles!

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