I adore Eclair Dessert. It started in my childhood at all the Mennonite potlucks, which may be why it's so rooted in my subconscious that I can't exactly explain why I love it (graham crackers, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and chocolate icing - I guess that's understandable!).
As an adult, I finally figured out what genre it is: an icebox cake, which sounds so charmingly retro I love it even more. An icebox (or refrigerator) cake is layers of cookies and cream or pudding, allowed to soak into something transcendent in the fridge. I only know about two: Eclair Dessert, the topic of this blog post, and Christian's chocolate cake. Can you tell me about more?
Here you see my sister's birthday dinner and her requested desserts, Eclair Dessert and graham cracker pudding (I had Eclair Dessert on my birthday this year too). Good times. My camera was passed around so much that I think my whole family gets credit for the photos here.
I tried to find a recipe online to link to, but they are all different from what I make. Rebecca told me that Cook's Country had a recent article on Eclair Dessert made with whole foods (not packaged or processed) and called it all the rage. Well, it's been all the rage with me since I was a little girl. Try it - you'll see why!
Chocolate Eclair Cake - - from Mennonite Country Style
You will need a whole box of graham crackers.
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan.
Line with whole graham crackers (and fill in around the edges with smaller pieces).
2 packages instant French vanilla pudding (3.5 oz. packages)
3 c. milk
1 tub whipped cream or 1 c. heavy cream, whipped
Spread half of pudding mixture over crackers. Add another layer of crackers. Spread the rest of the pudding. Add a final layer of crackers. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Then make the frosting.
Beat together until smooth:
5 Tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. oil
2 Tbs. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbs. soft butter
1.5 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbs. milk or cream
Spread frosting on top of dessert. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours before serving.
Ben, just before he burst into tears over his dropped dessert.. . .