What is better than an éclair? Two éclairs! Everyone in my family is a fan of éclairs, but until recently we did not have a recipe to make them at home. The recipe below comes from my mother-in-law, and it took us months of testing to get the quantities right.
When I was little I would buy éclairs from a local confectionery shop, on my way back home from school. Crammed and dark, with oversized platters and old-fashioned decoration, that place sold day-old éclairs filled with a pastry cream vaguely tasting of coffee. Sometimes, the cream was sour and the dough was stale, but there was nothing I could do: I had spent good money on the éclair, and I had to eat it. There was no flour or butter on sale at the grocery stores, and sugar was rationed, which meant baking at home was also very limited.