whats the easiest ways to make chocolate eclairs
there's not really an easy way, though it's easier to cut the baked choux pastry to fill them rather than pipe the filling in.
Ajakhara1, i would agree with hardlikearmour, that there isn't a really easy way to make eclairs. they require many steps and coordination, but there are things you can do to make it easier.
1. pre-measure all your ingredients in prep bowls and make sure you have all your equipment ready. some parts can be time sensitive and you don't want to have to worry about measuring out stuff while your chocolate is melting or are scrambling to find that pastry bag when its time to pipe the dough.
2. DO NOT wait to pipe the dough onto the baking sheet. do it right away. it will become harder to work with if you wait.
3. if you don't own a pastry bag w/tips, you can put your dough or cream in a freezer bag and cut an appropriate size hope in one of the bottom corners for your task. be aware this would make filling the eclairs later after baking more difficult and you might want to try the above approach with slitting them open (like when you make a profiterole) to fill with the cream. note: doing it this way might be easier to fill...but it will make it much more of a mess to eat with cream exploding out of it every which way.
4. when your eclairs come out of the oven before you fill them, gently make a few tiny slits in the top to allow steam to escape: trapped steam might make your eclairs a little soggy. don't worry about the few holes, you can have this be the side you dip in the chocolate! = )
eclairs were actually a "daring bakers challenge" (fun, friendly competition among food bloggers) a few months ago and many of them posted their experiences (and photos) online...so you can also see the step my step process...as well as learn many of their techniques for the hard parts. MeetaK is one of the one who runs the "Daring Bakers" challanges and you can see many of her insights and useful links on how to make each step on her blog (it will take you right to eclairs). I hope this helps!
MeetaK's blog - "What's for Lunch, Honey?" : http://bit.ly/gNShBN