Vegan chocolate éclairs – great british bake off challenge

I knew pastry week was happening, I knew it was going to be one hell of a challenge, but I sure was not expecting to be making vegan choux (without any egg replacer brand). This week’s technical challenge was two type of éclairs: caramel and raspberry. I decided to do them my own way because what was hard in this challenge was the choux itself, not the flavors and I did not want to buy weird ingredients to make the raspberry ones, so I just made some vegan chocolate éclairs.

Check out the video on how I make (attempt making) these vegan chocolate éclairs.

Ingredients

Most recipes I found used egg replacers (such as Ener-G, Bob’s Red Mill, Namaste Foods, …). I don’t know where the heck I can find these in France so I knew from the beginning I had to do it without any eggs (or egg replacer) and find a 100% no complicated ingredients recipe. After many many hours spent reading french recipes, english recipes, most of them used similar ingredients, so I made a variation on some of them. So here the full list of ingredients :

  • Cornstarch,
  • Flour,
  • Soy milk (or rice milk, or almond milk, whatever you want).
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla sugar (some of them called for “vanilla extract”, so I assume you can totally use that instead of vanilla sugar)
  • Vegan butter (I used this one, but honestly I’m assuming any “margarine” as they call it in France would work well).
  • Baking powder

As I said before, I’m no professional baker so I want to thank the many creators that have already attempted making these for helping me find my own recipe (sorry, most of them are in french!):

Ingredients for the crème pâtissière

  • Soy milk
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegan butter
  • Chocolate

So… What was the result of this first attempt at vegan chocolate éclairs?

It wasn’t a fail, which makes me really happy, but it wasn’t perfect either. So the things I would change next time:

  • Switch baking powder with baking soda : There was one main issue and that is that the dough didn’t properly “puff/raise” like a traditional éclair would do. I’m no professional baker but my theory is that the type of baking powder I used wasn’t the good type. So maybe next time I should try to “rest” the mix before baking, or even add some baking soda instead.
  • Add a bit less flour to the overall mix.
  • Have a thinner/more liquid crème pâtissière to add inside the éclairs. Mine was quite thick and i think that also played a huge role in how much filling there was inside.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this first result and I will definitely keep trying and if I improve my own recipe, I will update it here!

My previous technical challenges:

Vegan chocolate éclairs

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: French, Vegan
Servings: 10 éclairs

Ingredients

Choux

  • 100 g cornstarch
  • 200 ml soy milk
  • 250 ml water
  • 40 g sugar
  • 7,5 g vanilla sugar
  • 150 g flour All-purpose
  • 80 g vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Crème pâtissière (chocolate)

  • 250 ml soy milk
  • 30 g sugar
  • 80 g cornstarch
  • 20 g vegan butter
  • Handful of chocolate Roughly 50g

Instructions

Choux

  • Pre-heat the oven at 215ºC
  • In one bowl, mix the cornstarch, milk, sugar and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Bring the water to a boil, and add the vegan butter. When it's melted, put out of the fire, and add the flour. Mix well until you have a ball of dough that unattaches itself from the pan.
  • Add this dough to the cornstarch+milk+sugar+baking powder bowl and mix well until you have a homogenous dough.
  • Shape the eclairs according to your own preferences and put them in a lined baking tray.
  • Put the éclairs in the oven and cook them for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they start to golden a bit.

Crème pâtissière

  • In one bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar and 1/3 of the milk.
  • Bring the remaining milk to a boil. When it is boiling, add half of the milk (the boiling one) to the bowl with the cornstarch, sugar & room-temperature milk. Mix really well. Then add the remaining half of the boiling milk. Mix really well again.
  • Add this mix to the pot and cook it at medium-heat while continuously stirring it. If you see it isn't thickening enough, add a tiny bit more cornstarch (but don't go crazy with it! Just be patient).
  • Add the chocolate bits to the pot and stir well. This is going to THICKEN the mix fast. So remove from the heat and stir.
  • Add the vegan butter and mix well.
  • If at this point, you feel the crème pât is too thick, add a bit more milk. Once it has the consistency you want, add it in a piping bag.

Assembling the éclairs

  • Take one éclair and make three holes under it. Insert the piping bag (the end of it), inside each hole and fill it with the creme pat. You will feel the eclair getting bigger on the other side. It's normal. Just try not to burst them (but if it happens, no worries, you'll add extra chocolate on top).
  • Do this for the remaining 9 éclairs.
  • Once the éclairs are done, melt some extra chocolate and dip the eclairs on top of it.
  • Rest the éclairs for 5-10 minutes to allow the chocolate on top to cool off, and voilà. You can enjoy them!

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