Preparation / Directions:
Make the eclairs: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. In a glass measuring cup, stir the eggs with a fork until blended. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs into a small cup, leaving 1/2 cup of the egg mixture in the measuring cup. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water, butter and sugar. Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, heat the water mixture until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in mint extract. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour and cocoa. Whisk vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until the paste forms a very smooth ball. Transfer the paste to a large bowl. Pour the 1/2 cup of beaten eggs over the paste and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for 45 to 60 seconds, until the mixture forms a smooth, soft dough. The dough should hold its shape when scooped up with a spoon but be soft enough to slowly slide off the spoon when tilted. If the dough does not slide off the spoon, add 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved egg mixture, beat until smooth and retest the dough with a spoon. The remaining 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of egg will be used to glaze the tops of the eclairs before they are baked. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 5/6-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #3) with the eclair dough. Pipe 5-inch strips approximately 1/2-inch wide on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between eclairs. Dip your finger in some of the remaining beaten egg and gently smooth down any "tails" left from piping. Lightly brush the tops of the eclairs with more of the egg. Bake the eclairs, one baking sheet at a time, for 10 minutes, propping the oven door open about 2 inches with the handle of a wooden spoon. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and close the oven door. Continue baking the eclairs for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are crisp and shiny. Transfer the eclairs to a wire rack and cool completely. The eclairs may be prepared up to this point and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day or in the freezer for up to one month. Make the frozen mint filling: In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and liqueur. Beat until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap and freeze the mixture until firm, about 4 hours. Make the chocolate mint sauce: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small, heavy saucepan bring the cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Assemble the eclairs: Slice eclairs in half; remove any moist dough. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the frozen filling into each eclair half. Replace the top of the eclair. Pour the warm chocolate mint sauce onto a serving plate. Place an eclair on top. Drizzle with more sauce. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately.
YIELD: 8 eclairs
PREPARATION: 1 1/2 hours plus cooking, baking, cooling and freezing times