These crisp and airy Coconut Eclairs are filled with a delectable coconut cream filling and topped with a coconut glaze. Totally delectable!!
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, 13.5 ounces
- 1 1/4 cups milk, 2% or whole
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature, whisked together
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 can cream of coconut
- 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish
- Add the egg yolks to a medium-size bowl or 1-quart measuring bowl. Whisk the yolks and set them aside.
- Add the cornstarch, sugar, salt, coconut milk, and milk to a medium saucepan. Mix to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and vigorously whisk about half of the mixture in with the egg yolks. This is called tempering. (If you were to add the eggs directly to the hot mixture, the eggs would immediately cook and you would have scrambled eggs in your coconut filling).
- Return the saucepan to heat and add the egg mixture to the pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble on top. Continue cooking, while stirring constantly, for about 1 minute until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
- Add the butter, vanilla, and shredded coconut and mix to combine.
- Transfer the filling to a medium or large bowl. Allow the filling to cool for about 5 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the top of the filling and refrigerate until the filling is very chilled for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. You can do this step the day prior to making the rest of the recipe.
- Add the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of water to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium-high and immediately add the flour, using a wooden spoon to stir constantly. Cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and starts to leave a film on the bottom of the pan. This takes about 1 minute, just long enough to cook out the flour taste.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes to slightly cool the mixture. With the mixture on low speed, add the whisked egg yolks in small additions, mixing for about 30 seconds each time before adding more. You may not use all of the egg yolks. Stop adding, when the mixture becomes shiny, thick and smooth. It should be a pipeable consistency. If you have leftover egg yolk, save it for brushing the pastry dough before baking. I suggest using the dough the same day. I don’t recommend refrigerating the dough for more than 1 day. If you do, cover it securely with plastic wrap.
- To make the eclair shells: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Transfer the choux pastry dough to a piping bag, fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. I used a Ateco 808 round tip. You can also use a Wilton 1A tip. If you don’t have piping bags or tips, use a zip-lock storage bag and cut off the corner of the bag. Pipe the dough into strips about 3-inches long and 3/4-inch in thickness, leaving about 2 inches between them. These don’t have to be exact. You can actually do your own thing here, but I don’t recommend piping them too long and they need to be at least 3/4-inch wide to be big enough for filling later. Brush the tops with a mixture of egg yolk and water for a nice golden brown shiny tops, (optional). This is where your extra egg yolk comes in handy. Just add a tiny bit of water to it.
- Bake the choux pastry shells at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 20 minutes until the shells are golden brown. Do not open the oven door while they are baking! Remove the shells from the oven. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit on one side of each shell. Return the shells back to the oven for 5 minutes. This allows the steam to escape and the insides to become dry. Remove the shells from the oven.
- Fill the shells: Poke a small hole in one end of the shell, using the tip of a skewer or toothpick. Using a very small piping tip, round or any small tip, gently push the tip into the hole and squeeze the filling into the shell. If you’re holding the shell in your hand, you can tell when it full of pastry cream. If you don’t have a small pastry tip, you can use option… slice each pastry shell in half horizontally, then use a spoon to fill them and sandwich them together, my favorite option.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, mix together the cream of coconut and powdered sugar.
- Place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 4 minutes or until golden. Don’t walk away from it.
- Spread the coconut glaze on the tops of the eclairs and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
- Allow the glaze to set up before storing, then store in an airtight container.
- This recipe takes some time to make from start to finish. To save time, feel free to make the filling a day prior to making the eclair shells.
- Placing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling prevents a skin from forming on the top of it.
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