Chocolate Eclair Cake: Perfect for the Holidays

This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, and even after I modified it to use agave syrup rather than refined sugar it is still awesome. The combination of homemade pudding with whipped cream, graham crackers and chocolate syrup creates such a wonderful taste blend that the only word that does it justice is delicious. This is also a make-ahead cake, which is great as well.

I am including the original recipe, but will add my notes along the way.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 12-15

1 1/4 c. sugar (I used the same amount of agave syrup)

6 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. salt

5 c. whole milk (I used nonfat dry milk here)

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks

5 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. water

1 1/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin

2 3/4 c. heavy cream, chilled, divided

1 box honey graham crackers

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I used freshly grated dark chocolate here)

5 tbsp. light corn syrup (I used agave syrup)

1. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk milk into sugar mixture until smooth and bring to boil (medium high heat), whisking frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching.

2. Once mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook, whisking frequently for about five minutes, until mixture thickens.

3. Turn off the heat and add butter chunks and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and then transfer pudding to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for at least two hours.

4. After pudding has chilled, stir water and gelatin together in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, microwave for 15 seconds. Set aside.

5. Whip 2 cups of the cream (THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF CREAM IN THE RECIPE) with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Pour about a tablespoon of cream into the gelatin mixture and stir – this will keep it from clumping when added. Add gelatin in a thin but steady stream while beating cream. Continue to beat another minute until stiff peaks form. Soft peaks mean when you lift the mixer the cream comes off it like the way a kid draws an ocean wave – stiff peaks means it makes a point that doesn’t list to the the side at all.

6. Whisk a third of the cream into the chilled pudding, then scoop the rest of the cream on top and fold it in gently using a rubber spatula.

7. To make glaze, microwave chocolate chips (or shaved chocolate), remaining 3/4 c. cream and corn syrup (or agave syrup) for about 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool about 10 minutes.

8. Line a 9×13 baking dish with graham crackers, breaking them to fit if necessary. Scoop half of the pudding/cream mixture onto graham crackers and smooth with an offset or rubber spatula.

9. Top with a second layer of graham crackers, then spread the rest of the cream mixture evenly on top.

10. Top the cream with the remaining graham crackers.

11. Drizzle glaze over the top layer of graham crackers and smooth to cover, if necessary. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 or up to 24 hours. Cake will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 days.

I can’t say enough about how tasty this cake is.  If you try it, please let me know what you think.  I am confident that you will be as impressed as I am.

eclair cake.jpg

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