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Chocolate Pistachio Eclairs


Life hack: if you ever find yourself with tons of egg yolks after a week full of baking macarons, just make eclairs.

Cream and/or custard fillings always require multiple egg yolks so there was no question about what recipe I was making this week. And seeing as how we are a few short days away from the greenest holiday of the year, I knew I had to throw in some pistachios.
Chocolate and pistachios are always a killer combination together. The perfect harmony of salty and sweet.

For the pasty cream to be truly pistachio-flavored, I had to make my own pistachio paste. It is actually easier than it sounds; as long as you have patience and a high powered blender or a food processor.

The pistachio paste gets cooked into the pastry cream and gives it a beautiful nutty flavor and mint hue. No food coloring necessary.
Eclairs are honestly one of those desserts that look like you spent a lot of time on but they are in reality, super quick and easy to make. The filling can be made the night before and the dough comes together in minutes.

So, go ahead. Impress your guests. You can thank me later.

Chocolate Pistachio Eclairs

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Yield: Approximately 20 eclairs

Ingredients:

For the pastry (pate a choux):
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs (should amount to 1 cup)

For the pistachio pastry cream:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
4 ounces pistachio paste
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the chocolate glaze:
4.5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons corn syrup

Directions:

Prepare the pastry cream one day ahead. In a medium-sized saucepan, add cornstarch, sugar, and salt and whisk together to combine. Add egg yolks and pistachio paste, and whisk together until mixture is smooth and well-combined. Slowly add in milk, whisking continuously until all the milk is incorporated. Now, set the saucepan over medium heat and continue to whisk, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for an additional minute, then remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a heat-proof bowl. Then, whisk in butter.

Cover cream with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on surface of the cream to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil, then pour in flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to allow it to cool down slightly.

With food processor on, add eggs one at a time through the chute, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick custard.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag with the tip cut off (or a Ziploc bag). Pipe oblong strips of dough onto lined baking sheet. (I made mine about 3 inches long and 1 inch in width). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 23-25 minutes. Once you remove eclairs from oven, use a toothpick to poke a tiny hole in them to let the steam escape.

Allow them to cool down completely. Meanwhile, remove your pastry cream from the fridge. Whip up the 1/2 cup of heavy cream until it reaches stiff peaks, then fold into pastry cream.

Next, prepare the chocolate glaze. To a small glass bowl, add chocolate chips and corn syrup. In a small saucepan, heat together milk and heavy cream until simmering. Pour heated milk mixture over chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Then, stir together slowly until chocolate chips are thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth and glossy.

Cut eclairs in half lengthwise. If there is any soft dough on the inside, simply remove it. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of pastry cream into the bottom half of each eclair.

Then, take the top half and dip it upside down into the chocolate glaze. Set it back on top of the eclair and then garnish with additional chopped pistachios. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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