Chocolate Eclair Cake~ Paleo

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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. You’re going to love this Chocolate Eclair Cake, that includes all three!

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!

5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Eclair Cake
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
8 hrs
 
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Megan
Ingredients
Eclair Pastry Crust
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Vanilla Custard
  • 3 cups raw milk or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve the whites! so many good uses*)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Whipped Cream (that won't wilt)
  • 2.5 cups grass-fed heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin
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.

 

chocolate-eclair-cake-paleo

Comments 35

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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!!!

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

  4. 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?

    1. 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™‚

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

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

    1. 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™‚

    1. 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.

  7. I cooked the custard for over 30 minutes before I decided to take some out, cool it, and add more arrowroot. I didn’t see (until now) in the comments that it would thicken as it chilled. I used 1/2 the amount of sweetener in the whipped cream and then I used only about a third of the whip cream in the recipe because that seemed more than enough. It turned out very delicious and my son was very pleased as he had asked for eclaire cake for his birthday, (and I wouldn’t make the graham cracker, cool whip version).

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