A decadent low carb, gluten-free cake with layers of meringue, pastry cream and sugar-free chocolate ganache. Chocolate eclairs in cake form!
I bet you didn’t expect to be eating chocolate eclairs on your low carb, gluten-free diet, did ya? Well in case you hadn’t noticed, I like to defy expectations. Here I am, a suburban mother of three driving a minivan, with a tattoo, occasionally sporting a mohawk, and who has been spotted in sparkly gold Converse-style sneakers. For all that wacky surface stuff, I am actually a pretty conventional person. But I really love to defy the expectation that low carb, gluten-free diets are boring and devoid of decadent desserts. I like to take the sugariest, carbiest, gluteniest of desserts and figure out a way to make them healthy, without sacrificing texture or flavour.
I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now that with regards to Chocolate Eclair Cake, I nailed it. In a completely unconventional fashion, naturally! The original, which I first spied on Pinterest, is made with graham crackers (gulp!), vanilla pudding (double gulp), whipped topping and canned chocolate frosting (triple and quadruple gulp!). Holy carb laden minefield of processed foods! But it sure did look pretty and my instincts told me I could easily come up with a far healthier version.
Since I came up with my low carb graham cracker recipe a while ago, I considered making some for the chocolate eclair cake. But I found that I was rather disappointed that graham crackers were what made up the layers of such a cake. When I first saw it, I thought it was some sort of nut-laden, crunchy sponge cake which intrigued me so much more than graham crackers. So I mulled it over and settled on a nutty meringue layer to pair with low carb pastry cream and low carb chocolate ganache.
In terms of flavour and texture, I think the cake came out beautifully. In terms of overall appearance, it wasn’t exactly the prettiest cake I’ve ever made. It’s hard to make the meringue layers perfectly even and I’ve never been all that good at cake decorating as it is. Getting photos to make this cake look as appetizing as it tasted was an exercise in frustration. Not for me are the ideal slices of layer cake with every layer delineated and no smooshing or smearing of one layer into another. My chocolate smeared all over the place as I tried to cut the cake.
But do I really care? Will you when you taste this? Nope. You’re mouth will be too full of divine flavours and you will be too busy thinking “I can haz low carb chocolate eclair?”. When you taste it, you will think this is the prettiest cake you ever did see!