Monday, August 4, 2014

Eclair Cake

 I first saw this recipe when it was posted by a friend of a friend on FB, from a website called Chef In Training. Actually, I think I probably saw this ages ago, but never took note of the recipe, and then completely forgot all about it. This time, however, I was sure to save the recipe and try it, and let me just say that I would like to by a vowel, because O. My. God.... this is one of the most delicious desserts you'll ever taste! Not even kidding.
 The first thing that makes this recipe so awesome is that it requires no baking at all, which makes it the perfect summer dessert for when you don't want to turn on a hot oven. And since there's no baking required, there's no knowledge of baking required, which makes it perfect for the cooking novice. It's also super convenient, because not only CAN you do it ahead, you MUST do it ahead. So it gives you plenty of time to get everything else ready for your event.
 Now, when you first look at the recipe, you're gonna think "wait, where's the cake part?" Well, tbh, it's not really a cake. But here's the thing.. The graham crackers are layered between fluffy mounds of vanilla cream, and they get all nice and soft so you can cut through them, just like a cake. It's kind of like when you dip a graham cracker into a glass of milk and it gets all soft and yummy, know what I mean? That's why you MUST do it ahead! The graham crackers need time to soak up all the velvety yumminess. I made this for the gang and it was GONE in literally minutes. True story! I absolutely promise you there won't be any leftovers.
You simply MUST try it!!

2 (3.4 oz) packages Vanilla Instant Pudding mix, dry
3½ cups whole milk
12 oz. cool whip
2 (14.4) oz packages graham crackers

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar

For the cake:
Blend milk and vanilla pudding packets for about 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.
In a 9x13 pan, layer graham crackers to cover entire bottom of pan. You may need to cut and shape the crackers to fit nicely.
Pour half of pudding/cool whip mixture on top and level.
Put another layer of graham crackers to cover entire surface. Cut and shape crackers accordingly.
Put the second half of pudding/cool whip mixture on top and level.
Put the final layer of graham crackers on top with bumpy side down. This will help the top look more smooth when you go to put the frosting on top. Once again, cut and shape crackers accordingly to avoid pits and cracks.

For the frosting:
Microwave butter and milk just enough so that they are melted together. You do not need to boil it. Add cocoa and powdered sugar and blend together. This will be a runnier frosting/glaze. Pour over top of graham crackers and smooth out nicely.
Refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve.

One thing that absolutely helped in assembling this dessert was using a pan with sharply squared off corners. That made it easy to fit the graham crackers in. And you should definitely cut the crackers to fit. This helps mostly with the top layer. Yes, you're covering it with a chocolate glaze, but you'll still be able to see the crackers underneath and you want it to be a nice even layer. And if you like a LOT of chocolate glaze, go ahead and double it!!  I certainly won't judge you.

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