Éclair Cake

The amazing cake also known as “Boston Cream Pie” or “Cream Puffs.”

Sounds very immature of me to say this, but I have been afraid to try my hand at this recipe simply because it always seemed way too intimidating. I mean, Éclairs!  Those light, decadent melt-in-your-mouth bits of heaven that surely must be created by master chefs only because of the incredible dough that magically “puffs” while baking to make these perfect little hollow nests for filling.

Sigh…My mom used to make this cake for special gatherings/parties at our home while growing up, and it always came out perfect.  That’s a huge standard to live up to if you know what I mean.  Mine didn’t come out looking near as perfect as Mom’s, but it still came out tasting AMAZING. Yippee!

My first attempt at the recipe was for this past Memorial Day spent with Tim and the kids and Tim’s mom.  Instead of making the “cake” I simply put dollops of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet to turn into puffy balls.  The kids enjoyed having something they could hold in their little hands and eat without needing a fork or plate.  (Less dishes to wash! Praise the Lord!!)  This second experiment is for a party here at the homestead with several good friends.  The kids are all going to get cookies for dessert, but the adults get to enjoy something a little more sophisticated hence the cake.  Haha!

The great thing about this recipe is that it is actually VERY easy to put together and you don’t have to leave your oven on forever to do it or pull out your KitchenAid for any of the mixing.

To make the dough you will need:

  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 1 C. water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. flour

Melt the butter first before adding the salt and water.

Heat until boiling briskly.

Add 1 C. flour all at once and stir vigorously. (Your arm will get a GOOD workout making this dough!)  Cook and stir until dough is transparent and forms a ball that clings to spoon – about 3-5 minutes.  Cool until lukewarm.

Add 4 eggs one at a time and beat until smooth after adding each egg (or until your arm falls off!).

Pour (I’m using that term lightly here since it’s more like “drop”) into lightly greased tube or bundt pan.

Bake @ 400 for 45 minutes or until free from beads of moisture and firm to touch.

Set aside to cool completely and move on to fixing the filling.

Mix together 2 small packages of French vanilla instant pudding with 3 C. milk.  Do NOT put inside refrigerator since it will thicken too much and be very difficult to pipe into the cake.

Fill either a gallon-size freezer bag or a piping bag and attach whatever large tip you want.  Insert your tip into the top of the cake and gently squeeze pudding into the cake.  You’ll know you have filled enough when you pull back on the tip and pudding starts to seep out of the hole.  Continue doing this around the entire top of the cake surface every couple of inches until all the pudding has been piped into the cake.

Gently remove any excess pudding from the surface of the cake and then place inside the refrigerator.

While the cake is cooling inside the frig, mix together in a small sauce pan:

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cook on low until butter is melted.

Add 2 ounces (1/4 C.) chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Add 2 C. powdered sugar.

Beat until spreading consistency.

Quickly frost cake and then place inside refrigerator until the chocolate hardens all the way.  Cover and replace inside refrigerator until ready to serve.  (FYI – you will need to use an electric knife to slice the cake when ready to serve otherwise you will mash the entire thing when trying to cut into it.  Just so you know. :-))

Éclair Cake – by Toni Fuhrman

DIRECTIONS: 

Dough: 
1 C. boiling water
1/2 C. butter
1/4 tsp. salt

Cover & heat until boiling briskly.  Add 1 C. flour all at once and stir vigorously. Cook and stir until dough is transparent and forms a ball that clings to spoon – about 3-5 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Add 4 eggs and beat until smooth after adding each egg. Pour into lightly greased tube or bundt pan. Bake @ 400 for 45 minutes or until free from beads of moisture and firm to touch.

*For Cream Puffs, pipe balls or strips onto a greased cookie sheet and bake @ 400 for 25 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.

Filling:
2 pkg. French vanilla instant pudding (small boxes)
3 C. milk

Stir with electric mixer for 1 minute.

Chocolate Frosting:
¼ C. water
½ tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter
2 oz. chocolate chips, melted
2 C. powered sugar

Heat water and butter. Add vanilla and chocolate. Add sugar and beat until spreading consistency.

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