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Miniature Coffee and Chocolate Eclairs Recipe

1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1 C. flour
4 eggs

Add water and butter to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add flour and stir. Stir over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Cool.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Mixture should be smooth.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter a baking sheet and spoon the choux pastry into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe the pastry out into shapes about the size of your index finger; space about 1/2 inch apart. Pass two tines of a fork slightly into the top of each eclair. Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove to a rack to cool.

Espresso Pastry Cream:
2 C. whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch, sifted

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Pour milk into heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and discard bean.

Using electric mixer, beat yolks and both sugars in large bowl until very thick, about 3 minutes. Add cornstarch; blend well. Gradually whisk half of hot milk into egg mixture. Add mixture to pan; whisk over medium heat until thickened and boiling, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in espresso mixture.

Transfer to medium bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream; chill until cold, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled.) Whisk pastry cream until smooth before using.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

To assemble the eclair: After the pastry has properly cooled, fill the pastry bag with pastry cream. Punch a hole in one end of each eclair and pipe the pastry cream into the hole until you feel the pressure of cream against the sides of the cake. Place back on the rack.

Brush the top of each cake with the chocolate glaze and let dry. Serve these as soon as possible. They may sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. Or they can be refrigerated if needed. It is not recommended.

Chocolate Glaze

6 T. whipping cream
6 T. light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Bring cream and corn syrup to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Let cool until glaze thickens slightly but can still be poured, about 25 minutes.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups.


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