2 Tbs corn syrup (makes the ganache silkier and shinier)
To Make the Eclair Paste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large medium sized pot, add water, milk, butter, salt, and powdered sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, add flour, and stir quickly. Return pot to heat and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat to remove flour taste, stirring constantly.
Remove dough from heat and pour dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Turn the mixer onto low and mix for 3 minutes to begin cooling down the dough.
Turn the mixer up to a 3 on a 10 speed mixer, scramble the eggs with a fork, and begin adding them a little at a time. The pate a choux may curdle a little with each addition, but the dough will come back together. You know you’ve added enough egg when you can draw a line in the dough and it slowly sinks back in.
Draw 4 or 5 inch lines (with pencil) on parchment paper, spaced 2 inches apart. Flip the paper over pencil side down on a rimmed sheet tray. Pipe the eclairs using a piping bag and Wilton 8B french star tip. If you are having difficulty breaking away from each eclair, use scissors to cut the dough for a clean stop.
Spritz eclairs with water and dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. Eclairs should be very golden brown all around and firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack, about 1 hour.
When you are ready to fill the pastry shells with pastry cream, it’s time to make the ganache. Bring heavy cream to a boil over medium heat.
Place chocolate in a bowl, and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to sit for 3-5 minutes, and then gently whisk the cream and melted chocolate together. Do not over whisk, as this can “break” the ganache, making it no longer smooth and creamy.
Assembling the Eclairs
Optional: Whip the whipped cream to stiff peaks, and fold into the pastry cream. This is optional if you want a lighter pastry cream vs the standard pastry cream, which is a bit heavier.
Poke 3 holes in the bottom of each eclair with a #6 or #7 tip, or poke a hole in one end of the eclair. Place the tip in a piping bag fitted with a coupler, and fill with pastry cream. (Be sure to stir pastry cream well before putting it into the bag so it is smooth.)
Insert the tip into each hole of the eclair and fill until each section of the shell is completely filled. You will know it is full if the pastry cream starts to push out of one of the other holes just slightly.
Repeat with all eclairs.
Dip the tops of the eclairs in the melted ganache, and add any garnishes desired(such as these crispearls or cocoa nibs). Allow the eclairs to dry for storing in the refrigerator. Eclairs are best eaten the same day, but are still delicious for a couple of days longer. The firmness of the shell softens after being in the fridge for a while, so they are definitely best the first day.