Learn how to make the classic French pastry dough: Pate a Choux, the Eclair case to make the most delicious eclairs.
Put water, butter and salt into a pan and bring to boil. Once at boiling point, take off the heat and add the flour. Mix in the flour with a WOODEN SPOON until the mixture becomes like a dough. Leave it to cool for a few minutes - do not let it cool completely as the dough will be lumpy.
Place the mixture in a piping bag or gallon sized plastic bag. Cut a small corner off of the bag. The cut will depend on how big you want your eclairs. Pipe the mixture into 2-3 inch strips onto a greased baking sheet. You can make the eclair cases as large as you like, just allow extra baking time for the larger eclairs.
In a chilled metal mixing bowl whip the heavy cream. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until it reaches the soft peak stage.
Once the cream is whipped, move the whipped cream to gallon sized plastic bag and snip a corner off the plastic bag to pipe the cream into the middle of each eclair case. Place the cream filled pastries on a tray and put into the fridge to chill while you make the chocolate sauce.
Melt the butter and sugar on a low heat. Take butter/sugar mix off the heat and mix in the cocoa powder to a paste. Add powdered sugar to desired thickness. If you feel like you haven’t made enough, just add a little milk and then more powdered sugar. If it starts to thicken up after sitting for a while, just place it on the stove again and reheat on a low heat.
Dip each eclair into the warm chocolate letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Or you can spoon the chocolate sauce along the top of each pastry case. Place the eclairs back in the fridge and chill for at least an hour before serving.
Do not whip the cream the night before as the cream will go flat (we learned this the hard way).
Eclairs freeze really well if you want make ahead. Just take the eclairs out of the freezer and put into the fridge an hour before you want to eat them.