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Chocolate Eclair Hearts

Bake some sweet hearts for your sweetheart.

  • yield: Makes about 2 dozen
Photography: Anna Williams

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Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

For the Pate a Choux

  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon best-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

For the Filling

  • 4 ounces best-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Glaze

  • 9 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate (at least 61 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup

Cook's Note

Unfilled, uncut hearts can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to three days; reheat in a 350-degree oven until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, then let cool before using. The filling can be made through step 7 and refrigerated overnight.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a 2 1/2-inch heart cookie cutter and a pencil, trace 12 hearts on a piece of parchment paper, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat with another piece of parchment. Lightly coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray; line with prepared parchment, traced side down. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Make the pate a choux: Sift flour and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Put milk, butter, sugar, and salt into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and add flour mixture all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour has been incorporated.

  3. Step 3

    Set pan over medium-low heat. Continue to cook, stirring, until dough pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until just warm to the touch.

  4. Step 4

    Raise speed to medium. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #802). Pipe onto prepared parchment, tracing outlines of hearts and then filling centers. Pipe another heart on top of first layer.

  5. Step 5

    Place hearts in oven. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. Bake 10 minutes, then rotate sheets. Reduce to 350 degrees; bake 7 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool slightly. Turn off oven.

  6. Step 6

    Using a serrated knife, halve hearts horizontally. Arrange, cut sides down, on wire rack. Place rack on baking sheet; transfer to oven. Prop open door slightly, and let hearts cool completely, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

  7. Step 7

    Make the filling: Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Pulse chocolate in a food processor until finely chopped. Put 1 cup cream and the sugar into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add hot cream mixture to the food processor. Carefully pulse until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl set in the ice-water bath. Let cool completely, whisking occasionally, 30 to 45 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.

  8. Step 8

    Put chocolate cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining cup cream. Beat on low speed until medium peaks form (do not overbeat).

  9. Step 9

    Make the glaze: Pulse chocolate in a food processor until finely chopped. Put cream and corn syrup into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until syrup has dissolved. Add hot cream mixture to the food processor. Carefully pulse until completely smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl; use a rubber spatula to eliminate air bubbles.

  10. Step 10

    To assemble: Spoon glaze over tops of hearts. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spread filling onto cut sides of bottoms of hearts. Sandwich tops and bottoms. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 4 hours.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February Winter 2007

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Reviews (12)

  • SOMERSIZING 22 Aug, 2008

    DONT THEY LOOK GOOD ON THE PICTURE, THE FILLING LOOKS VERY THICK, I MUST BE SURE MINE IS ALSO. WENT TO DIFFERENT USES FOR CREAM BY MARTHA AND FOUND OUT ABOUT HEAVY CREAM. MINE TURNED OUT GREAT AND ALL GONE IS MINUTES. CANT MAKE THEM VERY OFTEN. FATTENING.

  • riteofcake 2 Jul, 2008

    i made these for valentines day this year but i when i tried to make the whipped cream filling, it went downhill, it was runny and didn't turn out at all after two attempts. instead i used a home-grown recipe for regular whipped cream (not chocolate) and they were delicious anyway. before trying to shock and awe anyone, i would really recommend doing a practice run of this recipe first.

  • chefbb317 23 Feb, 2008

    I have made many different recipes of eclairs and this was not my favorite. The whipped cresam center just didn't turn out, it was a bit running for me. But for a total chocolate lover this could be the recipe for you.

  • LindaKayGwin 12 Feb, 2008

    dear bonniemomoffive what a beautiful photo such a tiny one i am also a Mom of fives LK

  • bonniemomof5 8 Feb, 2008

    I'm going to give these a shot as well for my husband and children for Valentine's day.

  • RichardSA 8 Feb, 2008

    Eclairs are remarkably easy to make with results that people won't believe you made them.

  • red853 7 Feb, 2008

    I have made creampuff dogh before its not too hard to make. Not easy to mess up. I might make these for my husband for Valentine's day.

  • jerie 7 Feb, 2008

    who has ACTUALLY done these? They look very labor intensive and easy to mess up

  • Christina_Rey 1 Feb, 2008

    I cant wait to try these. They look delicious!

  • Christina_Rey 1 Feb, 2008

    I cant wait to try these. They look delicious!

  • Christina_Rey 1 Feb, 2008

    I cant wait to try these. They look delicious!

  • tamaca 11 Jan, 2008

    yum these are good