Chocolate Eclair Cake~ paleo

Megan Treats 32 Comments

There is only one thing that rivals my love for chocolate ice cream. And that is vanilla custard, either poured over something cakey, or chilled… Top the custard with whipped cream and dark chocolate syrup, and you have the mouthfeel and flavor sensation to beat all others.

chocolate-eclair-cake-paleo

This “cake” is my copycat of a similar one I saw made without whole foods, not Traditional/Paleo/Primal. I loved the photo and decided to make a whole food version because I could imagine no yummier dessert.

I hope you agree looking at these photos. This dessert draws you in to take a bite (and then another, and then another…) The custard, the whipped cream, the chocolate, and the perfect crust to hold them all.

This version can be made with grass-fed dairy (I use raw milk), which I call Primal, or it can be made Paleo, dairy-free (omit the whipped cream or make coconut whipped cream). It’s grain-free and uses two favorite grain-free flours: cassava (here’s my choice) and arrowroot (I like this one). I’ve spoken before about cassava and the importance of resistant starch in one’s diet (yes, sure, even in dessert).

Let’s talk a skosh about arrowroot. It’s mentioned in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and is considered nutrient-dense. She quotes thus about it:

It is the only starch product with a calcium ash. In this regard, the calcium chloride found in arrowroot starch, is very important for the maintenance of proper acid and alkali balances in the human body. Arrowroot only thrives on tidal flats where the sea minerals are available. Its known health-building properties may be due to trace minerals from the sea, as well as from the calcium it gets from the sea water. (Royal Lee, DDS Journal of the National Academy of Research Biochemists)

I also use a just a wink of sustainably-sourced gelatin (the one with the green lid) in both the whipped cream and the custard to obtain the perfect texture, so you can eat this spoon-worthy dessert with a fork.

How’s it keep? Really well! You can make it ahead of time for guests and it keeps beautifully in the fridge for days! The recipe also makes a great big portion- for lots of folks or lots of leftovers. It’s as good for breakfast or a snack as it is for dessert.

You’ll need this Chocolate Syrup recipe to make the drizzle.

Enjoy the decadence, friends!

Chocolate Eclair Cake
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-15 servings 1 hour
Passive Time
7-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
12-15 servings 1 hour
Passive Time
7-8 hours
Chocolate Eclair Cake
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-15 servings 1 hour
Passive Time
7-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
12-15 servings 1 hour
Passive Time
7-8 hours
Ingredients
Eclair Pastry Crust
Vanilla Custard
Whipped Cream (that won't wilt)
Servings: servings
Instructions
Eclair Pastry Crust
  1. (Make this recipe first.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9" by 13" casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. Place the following items into a blender and puree until smooth: egg yolks, cooled butter, warm milk, cassava and sea salt.
  3. Beat egg whites in medium size bowl until stiff peaks form. Pour blender puree into bowl of egg whites and fold in whites until mostly incorporated.
  4. Pour and spread evenly over bottom of greased casserole dish. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and golden all over, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the custard.
Vanilla Custard
  1. Wait to make the custard until the pastry crust is out of the oven cooling.
  2. Whisk together arrowroot and gelatin in small bowl. Into medium saucepan, pour milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, and sea salt. Sprinkle arrowroot mixture over its surface, and whisk again to combine.
  3. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY until pudding begins to thicken. It will start to steam first, which is your sign that the custard is almost done. Once thickened, remove immediately from heat.
  4. Add butter and vanilla and continue to stir until mixed.
Whipped Cream
  1. Wait to make the whipped cream until the crust and vanilla custard have chilled, assembled, in the fridge for a minimum of one hour.
  2. Place water in small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over its surface. Heat until steamy, stirring, and gelatin is foamy and melted. Turn off heat. Add maple syrup and set aside.
  3. Whip cream in large chilled bowl, using chilled beaters. Once it holds soft peaks, gradually pour in sweetened gelatin water, in a steady stream. Once fully incorporated and stiffer peaks have formed, stop beating and set aside.
Assembly
  1. Fill slightly cooled crust with warm custard, smoothing out the surface. Chill 1-3 hours. Top with freshly whipped cream. Top with generous decorative drizzle of Chocolate Syrup (see the link to this recipe below**). Chill for 3-5 hours or overnight, before serving. (Best chilled for 6 hours minimum before serving.) Whole process can occur in one day, serving it that evening, including chilling times.
Recipe Notes

* Use leftover egg whites to make the best Paleo/GAPS Meringue, with half the sweetener of most meringues.

**Chocolate Syrup recipe here.

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chocolate-eclair-cake-paleo

  • Renee Kohley

    ohhh my! this looks like heaven! my mom makes an Γ©clair that is definitely processed and I always wondered if I could be made with real food! this is fantastic!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Renee! I do think it’s in that “almost heaven” category. We have been loving the leftovers so much. It’s fun that you have that childhood memory. Making a new version of a childhood favorite brings two kinds of pleasure: nostalgia mixed with the current experience of enjoyment. And this is the ultimate pleasurable comfort food!

  • Holy heavens….You really topped all your other incredible desserts. This brings back soooooo many childhood memories of my sneaking in frozen (yes, frozen!!) chocolate eclairs by Pepperidge Farms (EEEK!) during late nights of studying in H.S. Slightly frozen ones were like ice cream cake and I used to have at least three of those a week on hectic exam seasons. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!

  • Wow. This recipe is so delicious looking. Plus, you made it sound so simple to make. Do you use full fat coconut milk or will lite coconut milk work?

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    Lovely Megan, this is just beautiful! I LOVE everything about this Eclair cake! I cannot wait to make this for my family.

  • asia

    Hi Megan, I love your blog, thank you so much for everything you share! πŸ™‚ I was wondering about where to source raw milk in the eugene area?

  • Andrea Wyckoff

    WoW! I am like a deer in headlights looking at this mesmerizing dessert photos!! This looks so incredibly decadent and delish!!

  • Megan Stevens

    Ha! What a fun memory!! πŸ˜‰ So glad you’re pleased with this real food version. πŸ™‚ You’re welcome!

  • Megan Stevens

    Either one will work. But full fat will be better.

  • Megan Stevens

    Yay, I’m so glad!! Thank you!

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Asia, thank you. I recommend Just Earth Farm. If you’re familiar with Vanilla Jill’s in the Whiteaker District, we have business cards there for the milk, and it also serves as the weekly pick-up depot. It’s the milk we drink. πŸ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Andrea!! <3 πŸ™‚ It really is. πŸ˜‰

  • Oh my goodness! This looks amazing! Drool. I need to get some cassava flour! Thanks for the recipe! Maybe this will be my Easter dessert. πŸ˜‰

  • eatplaylovemore

    Are you freaking kidding me?? This looks unbelievable! I’ve never worked with cassava flour but I will be soon! Thanks!

  • Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!

    OMG I can’t believe I’ve never had something like this before – it looks SO DELICIOUS

  • Mmmm…this looks and sounds absolutely amazing! I just recently heard about cassava flour and am intrigued about using it, thanks for this recipe!

  • Jessica from SimplyHealthyHome

    OH geez. you are killing me. This looks FANTASTIC.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Jess! πŸ˜‰

  • Megan Stevens

    You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy making it and working with cassava. πŸ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    LOL. These components ARE so good together. And vanilla custard is a must-have in one’s life. πŸ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Yay, great! You’re welcome.

  • Megan Stevens

    This would be a LOVELY Easter dessert. πŸ™‚ Yes, cassava flour is worth having on hand.

  • JLD

    Would tapioca work in place of the cassava?

  • Kristy

    This looks Sooo good! When I get my hands on some cassava flour, this will be the first recipe I try!

  • Megan Stevens

    It wouldn’t turn out the same way. Tapioca is the starch taken from the cassava root. You could try it; it would just have a different textural outcome. Cassava flour is made from the whole root. It would still be a yummy experiment. πŸ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Yay!!! It is worthy! πŸ˜‰

  • OMG THIS LOOKS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY STUNNING and delicious!!!!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thank you, Gigi!! πŸ™‚

  • Serena Marie

    My custard isn’t super thick, how thick should it be before pouring onto cake?

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi Serena, chill it first if you’re going to scoop it into the middle of a normal cake. The gelatin will set it as it chills. If making this recipe, go ahead and pour it in. Then it will set as the whole thing chills.

  • Serena Marie

    It was delicious!!

  • Megan Stevens

    So glad to hear!! Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚