Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Eclairs With Chocolate Ganache

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.  

 It has been a few years since I made eclairs but I got to thinking about pumpkin filling and before I new it I was in the kitchen. I was so happy with the results that I have to share the recipe.  What's not to love?  We're talking pumpkin, pastry, and chocolate!  Recipe after the jump. 

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):

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
Bring butter, sugar, salt, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in flour. Return to medium-high heat and cook stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium, add whole eggs one at a time.  Continue beating until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. 

Pastry Shells:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter and flour sheet. 

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip with pate a choux batter.  Don't try this without the bag and tip, you'll get batter everywhere (not that I'd know that.

Pipe out oblong shapes, about three inches long and an inch wide.  You can play around with the sizes but just make sure to watch your baking time.  I made mine about 2 1/2 inches long for mini eclairs.  

Bake 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Turn off oven and prop door open slightly to let steam escape. 

Allow eclairs to dry in oven until centers are damp but no wet dough remains, about 15 minutes.  I cut one open and then of course had to eat the tester. 

Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack or plate to cool.  While eclairs are cooling raise heat back to 425 degrees and repeat process with remaining dough.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon on high until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in pumpkin puree.  Using pastry bag fitted with small pastry tip insert into the top of a prepared eclair shell and pipe until full. Don't worry the ganache will cover the wholes made by the pastry tip.  

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) semi sweet/dark chocolate in pieces
Heat heavy cream.  Pour over chocolate stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Once eclairs are filled dip the top of the eclair in ganache and set aside to cool. 

You're done you have a dozen beautiful pumpkin eclairs ready to be eaten!  Enjoy loves!!!  


  1. I need to make these immediately! Nathan and I were just talking about how spoiled we were by you in college with a constant parade of baked treats (I then bragged about all the things he missed out on by not being an actual roommate - like the 2:30am cupcake revelations)

    And everyone knows the secret to good croissants is a roommate dusting her feet with flour on the porch. I'm pretty sure that's gotta be somewhere in an early draft of Julia Child's cookbook...

  2. Oh, how divine! I just have to give these a whirl!


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