Chinese five-spice-crusted éclairs with vanilla pastry cream

Try this éclair recipe that's not just another chocolate variation.

If you've never worked with choux pastry before, you should really give it a try for these éclairs by Taryn Wa of Savoury Chef Foods. The Chinese five-spice adds complexity to the dessert.

Choux pastry

7 tbsp homogenized milk, divided
7 tbsp water, divided
3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup pastry flour, sifted
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together milk, water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a rolling boil.

Just after the liquid comes to a boil, add flour all at once, mix thoroughly.

Cook over medium heat until bottom is slightly browned.

Transfer to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for 5 minutes to allow the batter to cool.

Add eggs in one by one, and continue to mix until combined.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large pastry tip.

Pipe thumb sized lengths of pastry on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Put one piece of five-spice crust (recipe below) on each éclair.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until just set. Reduce heat to 325F and bake until done all the way through, approximately 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven, cool and cut in half lengthwise like a hotdog.

Five-spice crust

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until dough forms.

Put into fridge until firm. Roll to 2 mm thickness and cut into thumb sized rectangles.

Pastry cream

1 cup homogenized milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp cornstarch

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together 3/4 of the milk and vanilla seeds, and bring to a boil.

While milk is heating, in a separate bowl, mix together sugar and egg yolk.

Add cornstarch and remaining milk to egg mixture and mix until combined.

Once milk has come to a boil, temper the yolk mix with half the milk, by slowly drizzling in the milk and mixing quickly, being careful not to heat up the eggs too quickly. Stir to combine.

Put back into pot and mix with remaining milk.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and let cool. Store with saran wrap directly on custard to prevent skin forming.

Chantilly cream

3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Combine cream and sugar and vanilla seeds into bowl of a mixer.

Mix with a whisk attachment on high until doubled in volume.


10 fresh strawberries, cut into wedges
20 fresh raspberries, halved
40 fresh blueberries

Pipe pastry cream on bottom half of éclair. Top with berries.

Pipe Chantilly cream on top of the berries.

Place top half of the éclair on the Chantilly cream.

36 éclairs