Celebrate Spring with these easy and delicious maple glazed eclairs, topped with walnuts and filled with mascarpone whipped cream.
Today is April Fool’s Day, but these eclairs are no joke. They’re super delicious and actually very easy to make. They’d make a great treat anytime, but would be an especially nice addition to the Easter table, I think.
These eclairs feature a maple syrup glaze and are topped with chopped walnuts and a bit of salt (if you like the sweet/salty thing). Then they are filled with a mascarpone whipped cream, which can be made ahead and is wonderfully stable due to the mascarpone.
The choux pastry for the eclairs can be made with the help of your stand mixer or simply mix it up by hand. I find the stand mixer does a great job of mixing in the eggs. They can be baked up somewhat ahead and filled closer to serving, too.
When it comes to eclairs, I like to cut almost, but not all the way through the shell, leaving a “hinge”. I then glaze and top and finally, pipe in the filling. I find eclairs much easier to eat this way, especially when eating out of hand. I just eat them like a hot dog – turning the eclair whipped cream side up. Then, when you bite in to it, the filling doesn’t spill out the sides. The only thing to remember is to do things in the right order – cut, glaze, top then fill.
- Eclair Shells:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 3 Tbsp. + maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- (Optional) A sprinkling of fleur de sel salt
- Mascarpone Whipped Cream: (can be made ahead and refrigerated)
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- For the eclair shells: Preheat oven to 450° F. with racks in top and bottom third of oven. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, water, sugar salt and butter. Bring mixture to a boil. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour all at once and stir until mixture comes away from the side of the pot. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes longer (you are basically moving the dough around the pot to cook out some of the moisture).
- Remove from heat and turn out in to a large mixing bowl of the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir for 2-3 minutes to cool the mixture somewhat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. (If doing by hand, the mixture will start out quite slimy at first, but just keep stirring vigourously and it will come together). Transfer mixture to a piping bag, fold ends over to seal and let rest 20 minutes.
- Pipe batter in to logs about 5-6 inches long and 1-inch wide, allowing equal space between (they don't spread much). *Be sure not to pipe them too thin, as you want them thick enough to slice in half eventually. Place in preheated oven and IMMEDIATELY REDUCE HEAT TO 350° F. Bake, switching racks midway through, for 35-40 minutes or until golden, puffed and crisp. Allow to cool on a rack.
- For the glaze: *Before glazing, be sure to cut eclairs almost, but not all the way through, leaving a "hinge" on one side. In a small bowl, combine the icing sugar with maple syrup until a thin glaze forms. (You may need to add more maple syrup). Brush glaze on top of eclair and immediately sprinkle with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of salt, if using. Allow to sit at room temperature until glaze has set.
- For the filling: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whipping whisk, combine the mascarpone, whipping cream, sugar and maple syrup. Whip until mixture is thickened to piping consistency. Place in to a piping bag and pipe into eclair. (*Filling can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated and piped closer to serving).
- Filled eclairs keep well uncovered in the fridge for most of a day.