The very word strikes our taste buds like lightning and fills our minds with images of rich cream, light dough, and a creamy topping that just whisks us away to old Paris. National Chocolate Eclair Day celebrates one of the most decadent of treats to come out of the confectioners trade since time out of mind. While there are as many varieties of éclair as there are confectioners to create new delicacies, but the one that is a strong stand by that leaves us all drooling is the Chocolate Éclair.
If there was ever a day to recognize as a dessert lover it has to be National Chocolate Eclair Day. Whether you’re a self confessed sweet tooth or a behind the scenes sugary snacker, there is always room for an Éclair!
History of National Chocolate Eclair Day
Éclair… An enticing name for a treat, it even sounds decadent, but what does it actually mean? Éclair means “flash of lightning” and describes the speed at which these delicacies will disappear if left unguarded. These delicious treats were said to have first been invented by the French Chef Antonin Carême, a man with a tragic history that led to a grand creation in the early 19th century.
He was abandoned by his parents in the tumultuous days of the French Revolution and found work as a kitchen boy to keep himself housed and fed. Some time later he found himself working as an apprentice to a famous pâtissier named Sylvain Bailly.
The young boy blossomed into an amazingly talented chef, so talented in fact that when he left Bailly’s training he was able to move from employer to employer with impunity. This was rare in a time when one’s employer practically owned them, in this case, he could move freely, such was his talent.
Out of that talent came a long-standing love for the delicacy that would disappear so fast it was named for this tendency. Some time later the Chocolate Éclair was invented and took its well-deserved position as the King of the Éclair.
Unique éclair flavors to try
Why not use National Chocolate Eclair Day to dip your toe into a sweet and crazy flavor you might never have come across before?
- Pistachio, raspberry and white chocolate
- Double chocolate chip with cookie dough creme
- Passion fruit and mango with dark chocolate glaze
- Milk chocolate and orange with extra sweet peel sprinkled on top
Make your own or check out your local bakery to see if they have any of these fun and fabulous flavors on offer.
Fun facts about chocolate éclairs that you may not know!
The delicious oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with vanilla cream is the almighty éclair! What makes this French delicacy even more delicious is that it is glazed with sweet and shiny chocolate icing. Did you know that the dough of a chocolate eclair is the exact same type of pastry as the profiterole? The only difference between the two is that it is piped into an accurate oblong shape and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside.
The much loved chocolate eclair is not to be confused with a certain type of pastry called a Long John. A number of pastry chains in the United States of America and Canada sell Long Johns, but they are actually made with doughnut pastry rather than the traditional choux dough.
Another fun and interesting fact about chocolate éclairs is that the word éclair is the French term for lightning. Many believe that the pastry goes by this precise name, because it shimmers when it is coated with the classic chocolate glaze!
Keen to try baking your very own éclair?
If you have never tried making your own chocolate éclair, why not use National Chocolate Eclair Day as the opportunity to get crafty in the kitchen? If you are looking for a full proof way to make sure your classic chocolate éclairs come out perfectly then listen up! Follow the simple tips below and you will soon be able to create your very own crisp, sweet and delicious chocolate éclairs.
The consistency of your pastry dough is absolutely essential. You need to weigh your ingredients accurately rather than using cups or other methods of measuring. When you pay close attention to the pastry your éclairs will come up beautifully without any cracks at all! Another tip to keep your éclairs looking perfect is to hold yourself back from opening up the oven door before your twenty five minutes of baking time is up. If you do crack open the oven door the steam will be let out which will cause your delicious éclairs to fall flat (and nobody likes a flat éclair!).
How to celebrate National Chocolate Eclair Day
It’s one of the greatest ways to celebrate any holiday ever! National Chocolate Eclair Day is best celebrated by indulging in the amazing variety of ways you can create a Chocolate Éclair. Milk chocolate topping? Absolutely! Dark Chocolate? Oh yes. Sprinkled with dried raspberries? Seriously man, what are you waiting for?
There’s no wrong way to create a Chocolate Éclair, and National Chocolate Eclair Day encourages you to try them all! If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even try to create them on your own at home, who knows, you could be the next Antonin Carême. You won’t know if you don’t try!