Want to impress and delight someone without a whole lot of fuss? Make them chocolate eclairs. They are beyond delicious and look like you slaved for hours. This recipe from Recipe Snobs, however, is straight-forward and almost foolproof.
The delicious pastry only takes five ingredients and makes a divine vessel for the creamy vanilla filling. It's all topped off with a rich, chocolate frosting. Yum!
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, or 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water
In a large saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Using a tablespoon or a pastry tube with a No. 10 or larger tip, form dough into 4-in. x 1 1/2 in. strips on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately split eclairs open; remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool eclairs.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Split eclair; remove soft dough from inside. Fill eclairs (chill any remaining filling for another use).
For frosting, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in sugar and enough hot water to achieve a smooth consistency. Cool slightly. Frost eclairs. Store in refrigerator.
Image via jeffreyw/Flickr