Everybody loves éclairs. However, most of the éclairs sold in bakeries in the US are totally substandard to those served in France and other parts of Europe. No European baker would ever offer an éclair made the day before, and no one would eat one where the shell has been previously frozen like many bakeries in the US. The truth is, if you haven’t eaten an éclair in Europe, you probably haven’t really eaten an éclair. One of the challenges of making éclairs at home is filling them; it is a messy and time-consuming process. You can make Homemade Éclairs with step-by-step instructions, or you can make the following Chocolate Éclair Cake, which is less time-consuming, and positively addictive. It is very attractive, too, and is perfect for taking to a potluck or serving on a dessert buffet. No one except you will know that this is a quicker version of a French classic.
Rather than piping individual puffs of choux paste, the dough is spread out on a large baking sheet. While it’s baking, the filling and rich ganache can be prepared. Assembly is very quick, and the cake can be made up to 24 hours ahead. The official Hancock tasters, as well as several friends declared this dessert “phenomenal.”
2 cups water
1 cup butter, (no subs)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 4-ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups milk
2 cups whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate, (preferably 60% or more cocoa), chopped or highest quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a 17" x 11" (or thereabouts) jelly-roll baking sheet with parchment or spray liberally with non-stick spray.
- Choux Shell: Measure the water and butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil and let boil until the butter has melted.
- Add the flour and salt all at once and stir over medium heat until it forms a ball and there is a thin coating on the bottom of the pan. The idea here is to evaporate as much liquid as possible.
- Remove from the heat and dump the mixture into the bowl of a mixer.
- Using the k-hook or similar, mix the dough on low speed while breaking the eggs into a large measuring cup (this allows the dough to cool a bit so it doesn't cook the eggs).
- With the mixer running at medium speed, add the eggs, one or two at a time, making sure they are thoroughly mixed in before adding more.
- When all are mixed in, spread the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Do not underbake or the shell will collapse.
- Let cool thoroughly.
- Filling: Mix the pudding mix and milk in the blender, blend until smooth, scraping down the sides at least once; immediately pour into a large bowl.
- When the pudding sets, fold in the whipped cream.
- Ganache: Place the chocolate in a large microwaveable measuring cup (glass works best). Pour the cream over and Microwave 3 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave and let sit 5 minutes.
- Whisk until smooth and thickened.
- Assembly: Cut the shell in half crosswise and place one half on a serving platter.
- Cover with the filling and place the remaining half of the shell on top.
- Pour the ganache over the top and spread evenly.
- Place the finished cake in the refrigerator.
- When the ganache has set, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 471 Calories from Fat 323
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 68% Protein 7% Carb. 25%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Total Fat 36 g 55%
Saturated Fat 21 g 106%
Cholesterol 200 mg 67%
Sodium 434 mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 29 g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1%
Sugars 5 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 25% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 8%