When I was a little girl and my family would go to the local bakery I loved to stand in front of the glass pastry case staring at the eclairs. Dreaming of pastry filled with custard dipped in chocolate! The first time I had one I was a gonner.
Years later when I got to work behind the scenes at the bakery walking into the smell of eclairs baking I felt like I was in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory. Sheer heaven and surprise. Eclairs were far simpler to make than I imagined. I thought they would be challenging like croissants but luckily even a novice could make them...and eat them.
For this recipe the ganache and filling go pretty fast. The shells do take a little more time but are simple and can be made a day or two ahead. Remember the filling is very perishable so only fill as many as you plan to serve. I couldn't resist a shell fresh out of the oven!
Pate a Choux (shell batter):