This lovely and luscious treat is rumored to have been the favorite dessert of European royalty long ago. I know that it's won the hearts of everyone I've ever made it for. Enjoy!
- 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 12-in. square. Using an 11-in. heart pattern, cut each pastry into a heart shape. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. In a large bowl, beat cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pudding.
- Split puff pastry hearts in half. Place one layer on a serving plate. Top with a third of the pudding mixture. Repeat twice. Top with remaining pastry.
- In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, almond extract and remaining vanilla until smooth. Spread over top. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth.
- Pipe in diagonal lines in one direction over frosting. Beginning 1 in. from side of heart, use a sharp knife to draw right angles across the piped lines. Refrigerate until set. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Heart's Delight Eclair in Taste of Home February/March 2000, p27
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