November 16, 2008

Faux Chocolate Eclair Dessert

I've got a simple dessert, that will impress your friends but is so easy to make. It was first published in Cooking Light back in 1998. The combination of flavors comes pretty close to the way an eclair tastes.

This dessert tastes more decadent than it is because you use low-fat ingredients. It is recommended that this dessert be made at least 4 hours in advance so it can properly chill. I made mine the night before and I think that helped the graham crackers soften up a bit.

I took this dessert as my contribution to dinner at another family's house last night. After a delicious dinner of baked ziti (My Husband lucked out -that's his favorite meal!), we indulged in my dessert and an apple crumb cake. It is so nice to spend an evening with friends, and a bonus is that all of the kids get along so well. Sharing some good food and laughs with friends is what this time of year is all about.

If you are invited to a gathering in the next month or so, here are some other impressive yet simple desserts that you can take along.

The Apples in Puff Pastry that are at No Fear Entertaining look irresistable.
The Chocolate Decadence Cake over at San Diego Cooks is impressive and was made my her 13 year old son.

choc eclair 2

Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert
Source: Cooking Light (click here for a printable version of this recipe).

22 1/2 sheets (about 1 [14-ounce] box) low-fat honey graham crackers, divided
Cooking spray
3 cups fat-free milk
2 (3.4-ounce) packages fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8-ounce) tub fat-free cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) tub frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Arrange 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix, and cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat at low speed of a mixer 1 minute or until thick. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over graham crackers, and top with 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of pudding mixture and 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets.

Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened margarine, honey, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl, and beat well with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar to milk mixture, and beat well. Spread chocolate glaze over graham crackers. Cover dessert and tent with foil; chill 4 hours.
Yield: 18 servings

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LaDue & Crew said...

Oh I think I will just roll myself in this- YUM! I was walking through one of the gourmet bakeries the other day, saw some eclairs, and became very sad.. my Dr told me I have high cholesterol, so I had to walk away from them. But THIS I can have! I think I love you for posting this today!

Anonymous said...

Do you remember the first time I tried this...and forgot to mix the pudding with the Cool Whip, and had to try to scrape it off and start over? NOT good...but it tasted wonderful anyway. It is a great dessert.

Jo said...

This really looks really "light" and yummy. I really like the spread of choc on the top.

Julia said...

This is the type of dessert that people flip over. I can tell that just by looking at it. I love this and plan to give it a go sometime soon. This would be perfect for a pot luck or family dinner. Thanks for the post.

Stacey said...

A light dessert? Count me in! Looks wonderful!

RecipeGirl said...

This looks great. I'm actually looking for something easy to bring to my friends after the have their baby. This looks like it would fit the bill!

Amanda said...

Oh wow wow wow! That looks so delicious, I'm bookmarking to try later!

Dragon said...

This looks so good and decadent. Great job!

Megan said...

oh my goodness, one of my college friend's moms make this for us every time we go to her house for a visit. this made me so happy to see-thanks for sharing!

Jaime said...

that looks just as good, but not as complicated, as the real thing! thanks for sharing

Trish said...

That looks soo good!

We are moving in 11 days and I think I may make this for a treat for our friends that are helping us move.

Thank you for sharing it!

Katie said...

Eclairs ARE my husband's favorite and I think if I made this delicious dessert for him I could make him do whatever I wanted! YES! lol!

Debbie said...

Looks so delicious...I would love to try this..

Mary said...

So easy! So delicious! I've bookmarked this one.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

That looks so incredible. i can't wait until I can find an excuse to make that!!!!

Thanks for the link to the apples in puff pastry!!!

That Girl said...

What a great fake-out.

Sara said...

This sounds great, and the fact that it's light is an added bonus!

Isaiah Isaeus said...

Hmm... there's something fishy going on here. Where'd you get this recipe? (No, I read your intro about Cooking Light, I'm just being all mysteriousy) I ask because my mother has been making this (albiet with cinnamon graham crackers and a lot less healthy) for almost fifteen years for all manner of potlucks, football games, Christmas parties and church dinners. I'm sort of blown away to see it out in the world.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks delicious! And I agree, time spent with friends and family over food is just the best!

Kristen said...

The full fat version of this was one of the first desserts I made after I was married and just starting to cook. It is sooooo yummy!

Deborah said...

My mom has made a version of this since I was little, and I love it!!

Amy said...

ok, I'm embarassed to admit that at age 38 (28 in the real world) I'm finally learning how to make, bake and cook different things. The recipe looks pretty easy, but I"m blonde (no offense other blondies but I"m using that as my excuse here) but how do you 'cover and tent with foil'? Is it as easy as it sounds??? I think I could totally make this and pass it off as some complicated dessert for sure but first, I need to know the proper way to 'tent' my foil. :P

Patsyk said...

Ladue & Crew – go enjoy this one in place of the “real thing”! It tastes indulgent when it’s not too bad for you!

Mom K. (anonymous) – I had forgotten about that! It was still really good, that’s why I’ve been making it ever since!

Jo – the chocolate really makes this dessert.

Julia – Let me know if you decide to make it… it’s always a favorite wherever it’s served.

Stacey – Thanks!

Recipegirl – Your friends would really enjoy this – it will cure some sweet cravings while the adjust to their new baby.

Amanda, Dragon, Debbie, Mary, Judy, that girl, Jenndz – Thanks!

Megan – Nice to see this brought back some memories for you!

Jaime – this really is so easy, but looks impressive when served.

Trish – Your friends will love this as a treat after helping you move!

Katie – Oh, let me know if this dessert really puts him in your control! Everyone needs one of this dishes!

Isaiah isaeus & Deborah – that’s so funny! I never even heard of this recipe until I saw it in CL!

Kristen – I’m afraid of the full fat version! LOL!

Amy - no need to be embarrassed! You can either put toothpicks throughout the top and then lay the foil gently over it – creating the tent. Or, if you have a cover for your dish and it has even a small amount of height to it, just use that. I was able to do that and didn’t have to mess with the foil at all.

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