Éclair Cream Cake

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on June 20, 2012

In my daily research for new food and desserts recipes, I always come across interesting things that I can’t wait to try. One such thing was called an éclair cream cake which involved some graham crackers cookies placed in the bottom of a deep dish pan and then topped with a vanilla pudding mix, then cool whip topping and then topped again with a chocolate drizzle. Well, if you know me you will know that the prepackaged custard and cool whip stuff is not something I would ever use…but the idea for this dessert sounded interesting. If I ever made this, I don’t know that I would call it an éclair cream cake because other than the custard and chocolate there is really nothing about it that is reminiscent of an éclair

That was enough to get me thinking though….What if I actually made an éclair cake? There are a few similar French desserts but not one that has all of the components of a chocolate éclair in a cake…

I decided I was going to go for it and I’m glad that I did…

I made all of the components…éclair shells piped closed together so they baked in a single ‘cake’ layer. I made the vanilla pastry cream and lightened it with some sweetened whipped cream then filled it with an assortment of different berries that I had left over from another project. I scattered blackberries, blueberries and raspberries into the custard layer and served it with sliced strawberries and a strawberry sauce. If you don’t like berries then you don’t have to include them at all. You could just leave it with the cream or even drizzle some additional chocolate on the bottom layer before you add the cream.

I must say, this dessert was truly heavenly. One spoonful lead to another and another and another…

So I’m warning you ahead of time, if you decide to make this dessert, make sure to have lots of people to share it with. This is definitely not one of those desserts that anyone should be left home alone with…

Éclair Cream Cake (serves 8-10)

1 recipe éclair (choux paste) dough

1 recipe vanilla pastry cream

1 recipe quick ganache

1 recipe strawberry sauce

1-2 cups berries of your choice*optional

2 cups sliced strawberries (serve with cake)*optional

2 cups whipped cream, sweetened with powdered sugar (about ¾ -1 cup sifted)

First it is important to make both the quick ganache and pastry cream the day before or earlier in the day so that they both have time to cool and set up. Once the pastry cream has been made, store this in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. After making the ganache, make sure to leave it at room temperature so that it will be a lovely spreadable consistency…if you refrigerate it, it will be too firm to spread.

For this recipe, I made the éclair dough a little leaner since I was going to pipe it close together. I didn’t want the richness of the dough to collapse the cake, so I used 1 ½ cups water and ½ cup of milk…all the other ingredients were the same. Once the éclair dough was made, I put it into a sturdy pastry bag with a large round tip and piped it out onto a parchment lined half sheet pan, from one side of the pan to the other. You should get 8 rows of éclairs. I only piped out 6 rows because I used some dough for individual cream puffs, but there is enough for 8 rows. Pipe the first row in the center and work your way outwards, piping on alternate sides until the pan is almost filled up. Make sure to pipe them close together so that when they bake, they bake together in one layer.

Once you have piped them out, bake them in a 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes until they have puffed up and are golden brown. Remove them and allow them to cool completely.

In the meantime, add the 2 cups of heavy cream to the bowl of your stand mixer and add enough powdered sugar to sweeten it slightly. Remember that the pastry cream is already sweet, so you will not need too much. Once the cream is almost whipped, begin to add the pastry cream to the whipped cream as it is still beating in the bowl. Add the custard quickly in 3 additions and make sure NOT to over whip the cream. Once it is all added together, set this aside or refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Remove the éclair base from the sheet pan and place onto a flat surface so that you can slice this across the center completely with a serrated knife. Gently remove the top with a few offset spatulas.

Add half of the cream mixture and use an offset spatula to spread the cream across the entire base. Next, add your berry assortment all over the cream, then top with the last bit of cream and spread it all over the base again. Then, carefully add the top back which you cut off earlier.

At this point, cut the cake in half and spread half of the amount of your quick ganache onto half of the cake.

Carefully take the other half and put it on top of the other one. You can spread the rest of the ganache on top of the top layer, or you can melt the ganache in the microwave slightly and drizzle it on top of the entire cake. Refrigerate this for about half an hour so that the whole thing can set before you trim the edges.

Once chilled, take a sharp serrated knife and trim the edges all the way around. Using 2 large offset spatulas move the cake onto your serving platter. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight for best slicing results, and make sure to use a sharp knife. Serve with sliced strawberries and strawberry sauce.

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

Anti-Spam Quiz:

Previous post:

Next post: