We know we aren't the first to get in on the cereal milk trend, but we certainly want to do it our own way. So when we heard about the beautifully irreverent éclair flavors—like Cracker Jack and strawberry shortcake—that Park Hyatt New York pastry chef Scott Cioe is serving, we knew we had the perfect partner in crime.
Recognizing his aptitude for both the perfect choux pastry and fun, creative desserts, we asked him to develop an éclair inspired by his favorite childhood cereal. Without hesitation, he chose Lucky Charms™ as the star ingredient for the recipe he developed just for Tasting Table (watch the video above to see how they’re made). “You can catch me eating a bowl of Lucky Charms™ before service at the restaurant,” Cioe explains. “I eat them pretty much exclusively standing up.”
So how does one make a Lucky Charms™ éclair, you ask? First and foremost, milk gets infused with the marshmallowy cereal. After waiting a Saturday morning’s worth of cartoons, the milk is strained and made into a thick and creamy pastry cream. The end result is a spirited lime green filling that’s magically delicious.
“You get the distinct oat-iness combined with the flavor of the marshmallows,” Cioe notes.
Then it’s time to choux those éclairs who’s boss. Milk and butter get cooked down with bread flour then whipped in a mixer with eggs until a shiny paste forms.
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To be your best Betty Crockér, Cioe has some secrets to success:
Always remember to stretch. Cioe’s main pearl of wisdom when making choux pastry is to test the finished dough to make sure it has the right consistency. Pinch a tiny bit of dough between two fingers and then stretch them apart. The choux should stretch without breaking.
Get some tail. Piping the choux correctly is the only way to get the perfect éclair shape. Pipe four-inch éclairs, and at the end, twist the pastry bag in a swooping motion to form a small tail. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water then smooth the ends for a rounded finish.
Fill 'er up. You’ve gone through the trouble of making each component perfectly; now make sure to fill the shells just before serving to ensure both a crisp exterior and creamy center. “Nobody likes a soggy éclair,” Cioe adds, who fills each éclair to order at the Park Hyatt New York.
Once the filling is complete, the éclairs are glazed and garnished with the best part of the recipe: the Lucky Charms marshmallows. The final product is as picture perfect and, ahem, charming as it is delicious.
Lucky Charms™ Cereal Éclairs
Recipe adapted from Scott Cioe, Park Hyatt New York, New York, NY
Yield: 18 éclairs
Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus steeping, cooling and chilling time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes, plus steeping, cooling and chilling time
For the Cereal Milk:
3 cups Lucky Charms™ cereal, plus more marshmallows for garnish
3 cups whole milk
For the Pâte à Choux:
½ cup whole milk
½ cup water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup bread flour
For the Pastry Cream:
6½ tablespoons granulated sugar
4½ tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, plus 3 yolks
2 cups cereal milk
3½ tablespoons heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
For the Glaze:
6 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1. Make the cereal milk: In a medium bowl, stir together the cereal with the milk. Cover and place in the refrigerator to steep for 2½ hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the pâte à choux: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then whisk in the bread flour.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon until a shiny dough comes together and a skin forms on the bottom of the pot, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
4. Mix the dough on medium speed until cooled slightly, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, until each is well incorporated. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch star tip, then let cool to room temperature.
5. Preheat the oven to 450º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe nine 4-inch éclairs onto each baking sheet. Dip your finger into a bowl of water and smooth the tail ends of each éclair. Transfer the trays to the oven and turn it off, letting the éclairs bake in the ambient heat until puffed and golden brown, 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool completely.
6. Make the pastry cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg and egg yolks. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk into the egg mixture until smooth.
7. Return the whole mixture to the saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, then cook for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a ⅛-inch pastry tip.
8. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoon of water with the gelatin and let bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and remaining water, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin and the sweetened condensed milk. Place the white chocolate chips in a medium bowl and pour the sugar mixture over top. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the glaze cool until it says 70º on an instant-read thermometer.
9. Assemble the éclairs: Puncture 3 holes across the bottom of each eclair shell and pipe the pastry cream into each hole. Once filled, dip the top of each eclair into the glaze, using the side of the bowl to scrape off any extra. Garnish with Lucky Charms™ marshmallows on top, then serve.