Giant Chocolate Eclair
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% cream, warm
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk, warm
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) 35% cream
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) icing sugar
- 2 oz (55 g) dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) 35% cream
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 190 °C (375°F). Butter a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat, add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough forms a smooth ball pulling off the pan.
- Place the saucepan over low heat and cook dough, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until dough is smooth.
- Spread dough at the bottom of the prepared pan and up to the middle of the sides to obtain an even thin layer of dough. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven. With the tip of a knife, pierce the centre of the cooked dough a few times to allow it to deflate (see note). Run the blade of a knife between the pan and the pastry as it cools. Set aside.
- In a saucepan off the heat, combine cornstarch and sugar. Whisk in egg yolks. Add cream and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Strain, if needed. Add butter and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap directly on cream and let cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl, whip cream with icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate.
- Place chocolate in a bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. With a whisk, stir until smooth. Let cool.
- Spread cooled pastry cream over pastry. Top with whipped cream. Cover with cooled ganache. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Unmould before serving.
Right out of the oven, dough will be rounded and puffy. It will deflate as it cools (after being pricked with a knife). Press lightly with your hands, if needed.
Cooked pastry can be frozen.
When assembling, make sure pastry cream is cool enough or it could melt whipped cream.