One bite éclairs defy self-control. Go ahead. I dare you to eat just one or two. Put out a tray of these and watch them disappear. Like any good tiddly-bit, they are a miniature of good pastry stuff – a little pâte à choux filled with pastry cream (pudding) and topped with bittersweet chocolate gananche. Want one yet? They’re actually easy to make. Mix up the choux dough. Pipe it. Bake and cool.
Make the quick vanilla pastry pudding and chill. Pipe it into the baked, mini éclair shells until it puffs up like a little blimp and looks like it might bust open. Then prepare a bit of ganache (two ingredients) and dip the tops. Chill again. And that’s all.
If you are going to a barbecue or invited to a summer soiree this would be one of those things to bring that would make you instantly popular. The trick to making these éclairs this tiny is to count while piping the choux. Give it a one-two-slurp (forward and then flick the wrist back to get the batter to stop spitting out) and that’s your éclair. It looks tiddly-bit until it bakes and then almost doubles in size. Little itty-bitty is what you want when piping. It may seem silly to pipe a one inch rope, but that little rope bakes into a nice little mini-bite.
And then go make some Mini Bite Éclairs. Everyone will be glad you did.
|Mini Bite Éclairs||
- 150 grams GF AP flour (76 grams superfine brown rice flour, 32 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (1¼ cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 75 grams unsalted butter (1/3 cup)
- 210 grams whole milk (1 cup)
- 227 grams egg, room temperature (4 extra-large whole eggs)
- 735 grams whole milk (3 cups) (we use lactose free milk)
- 4 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 extra-large egg yolks
- 120 grams heavy cream (1/2 cup)
- 212 grams mixed semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips (1¼ cups)
- 4 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside. Prepare a piping bag with a ½ inch plain tip or use a two tablespoon scoop.
- In a small bowl mix flour with salt and sugar. In a deep sauce pan melt butter with milk and bring to a low simmer. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture all at once. The dough will almost immediately form a ball. Turn the flame down and stir as well as you can for about two minutes. Mostly you will be slapping the dough ball around the bottom of the pan but keep going. At two minutes remove the dough ball and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside for two minutes while you get the eggs ready.
- Crack eggs into a bowl. With the mixer running on medium low, add eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully worked into the dough before adding the next. It takes time so be patient. Really patient. It takes a lot of time. Make sure that last egg is really well incorporated. Remove from stand and using a spatula, fold the dough to make sure the egg is really mixed in well. Place dough in piping bag or get scoop ready. Pipe little bitty 1 inch sized ropes on the parchment. They will look ridiculously small, but they puff up a lot. Keep going. You will get a lot on each sheet.
- Sprinkle water like the pans are in the rain forest and place in the oven. Time it for 10 minutes and then turn the temperature to 350. Give it about another 10-12 minutes and when they look toasty brown, remove them from the oven. Don’t open the oven at all during the baking because it might make the puffs fall. After you remove the pans, poke each one with a toothpick to release the steam and place on a rack to cool completely before filling.
- (This makes more than you will need for this recipe, but it won’t go to waste if you make a berry tart or serve pudding for dessert)
- Whisk yolks until smooth. Add cornstarch and ½ cup milk to yolks and whisk to combine. Set aside for two minutes.
- Whisk the egg mixture and strain into medium saucepan. Add remaining milk and sugar to the saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and just starts to simmer/boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla bean paste, stir. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
- Using a long filling tip, pipe vanilla pudding into each mini éclair. It won’t take much to fill each one. The other option is to slice off a cap from each éclair and spoon in filling. Replace cap.
- Heat cream in microwave safe container until simmering, about 35-40 seconds. Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Pour simmering cream over chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Stir gently to combine. For piped éclairs, dip top side into chocolate letting excess drip back into the bowl. Place on cooling rack right side up to set. If you’ve cut off the tops and filled the éclairs, use a small spoon and drizzle chocolate over the top of each éclair while it sits on a rack.
- While the chocolate is still soft, drop sprinkles on top. Let set completely in refrigerator. Serve slightly chilled.