Orange Creme Eclairs with a Bittersweet Ganache

I have yet to shoot the video for this recipe, however the results are SOOOO excellent that I couldn’t wait to post the recipe. The richness of the orange pastry creme, combined with the bitterness of the ganache make for a decadent treat that will leave your mouth watering for more!

Pate Choux/Eclair Dough

1 cup milk
14 TB unsalted butter
1 TB Sugar (for sweet éclairs)
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
5-8 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 F

Combine milk butter in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Bring mixture to a full boil.

Keep milk and butter over heat and add sugar, salt, and flour, continuously mixing (a wooden spoon works best)

Continue stirring over heat until dough forms ball and sticks to the wooden spoon. At this point, if you sample the dough, there will be no flavor of starch. If there is still a starchy flavor to the dough, keep cooking.

Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and let cool to below 120 F.

Combine eggs one at a time, incorporating each individual egg before adding the next egg using a paddle or wooden spoon (don’t use a whisk). Keep adding the eggs until the dough adheres to the beater, pulls away back into the bowl and forms a slouching peak. The amount of eggs that need to be added will depend on the size of the egg, and the relative humidity of the room.

Transfer the entire dough into a pastry bag equipped with a ½ inch nozzle.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pipe 2” long dough for cream puffs, or 5” long for éclairs onto parchment paper.

Place baking sheet into 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes – until the puff/éclair has risen and started to turn brown. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Pastry is done when it turns a light brown, and feels hollow.

Transfer parchment and pastry to a cooling rack and let cool before filling.

Orange Pastry Cream

3 cups milk
4 TB unsalted butter
8 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
½ cup corn starch
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Orange Oil (If orange oil is not available use 4 tsp orange extract)
2 drops red food coloring
4 drops yellow food coloring

Add 3 cups milk to a saucepan and place over high heat. While this is heating, combine egg yolks, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup cornstarch and whisk well until completely combined/smooth.

Once the milk/butter mixture comes to a boil, temporarily pull the saucepan off the burner and slowly add ½ of the egg/milk mixture, mixing well while adding. Return the saucepan to the burner and slowly add the remaining egg/milk mixture, stirring the entire time. Cook the mixture, taking great care to stir throughout the cooking process. Be sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the saucepan to prevent scorching. Once bubbles start forming in the pastry cream, remove from the heat, add vanilla, orange oil, and food coloring. Mix WELL to combine.

Pastry cream should be cooled before piping into éclairs/puffs. To cool, transfer cream from saucepan into fridge worthy bowl and place piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the cream.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

4 Oz Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) (or 3/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips)
1 TB Butter
1/4 cup plus 2 TB heavy cream

Chop the chocolate into ½ inch or smaller pieces and transfer to a stainless steel bowl.

Combine butter and cream in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted, and mixture comes to a boil.

Pour the butter/cream mixture over the chocolate pieces and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture well, making sure that all chocolate is melted, and no chunks remain.

If any chocolate remains unmelted, put 2” of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Rest stainless steel bowl over saucepan and stir the ganache until all chocolate chunks are melted.

7 comments to Orange Creme Eclairs with a Bittersweet Ganache

  • aLi

    Obviously you and Lisa ought to weigh more than you do if you're baking and cooking (AND EATING) all this yummy food!!!

    With the orange eclair filling I have 2 questions.

    1- When you put the 3 cups of milk on the stove do you add the butter at the same time, or melt the butter first, then add the milk?
    2- Heaven forbid, if I don't have orange oil or extract, could I just make it plain vanilla?

    I'm hosting book club this next month, and am looking for some fancy shmancy recipes to serve. I think you may have just helped me!

  • aLi

    1 more question
    Do you dip the eclairs in the ganache to frost them, or spread the ganache with a spatula?

  • Cook with Tom

    Hey Ali,
    Here are a your answers!

    1 – I'll usually put the butter in first and let it start to melt before I add the milk, but as long as the butter is completely melted prior to adding the flour it doesn't really matter.

    2- If you don't have any orange flavoring, increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons. It's still VERY delicious!

    3 – I spoon the ganache over the top of the eclair and then lightly spread it around. The goal is to get as much ganache on top of the eclair without it spilling over. You can always dip it straight in the ganache, but risk getting eclair crumbs in the bowl.

    I haven't covered how to fill the eclairs yet, (I was planning on including it in the video) but the longer the pastry nozzle on your pastry bag the better!

  • aLi

    Awesome, Tom! Thanks!!!!! :)

  • G'pa and G'ma Woody

    Oh, my HEAVENLY DAY IN THE MORNING!!!!! THERE'S SO MUCH MORE!!!! Unbelievable!!! this just looks too good…well, they all do. love, mom

  • bubbletoes

    This dessert needs to find it's way to my mouth… and soon :) hint hint :)

  • Laura

    this look delicious! How many does the recipe make?

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