Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chocolate Eclair
Weight Watchers was one of the first companies to introduce low-fat foods to supermarket freezer sections. The earlier items were mostly meals, such as dinners and lunch items. In 1980 the company began offering a selection of low-fat desserts, which gained in popularity because they didn’t taste low-fat. More recent favorites are these small chocolate-frosted, crème-filled éclairs, developed in 1993. They are sold frozen, and can be defrosted at room temperature in about an hour.
The clone recipe here is designed so that you don’t need a special pastry bag to make the shells, or to fill them with the delicious, custard-like combination of fat-free vanilla pudding and Dream Whip. It’s an éclair recipe you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy your most fierce desserts craving.
Serving size–1 éclair
Calories per serving–160
Fat per serving–4g
Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.
- 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding (1/2 of a 3.4-ounce package)
- 2/3 cup fat-free milk
- 1 envelope Dream Whip
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Pinch salt
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 to 5 teaspoons water
1. Make the filling by combining the pudding mix with the milk in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the envelope of Dream Whip and mix again on low speed for about 30 seconds.
3. Turn the mixer speed to high and continue beating the mixture for about 2 minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Cover and chill for at least an hour (while you make the shells).
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
5. To make the shells, mix the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl and set it aside.
6. Combine the water, butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
7. Turn the heat down to low and add the flour and baking powder mixture all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
8. Add the 4 egg whites to the bowl. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon to incorporate the egg whites until it becomes smooth and forms a paste.
9. Make a pastry bag by cutting the corner off a plastic storage bag. Cut about ¾-inch in from the corner to create a hole that is about 1 inch in diameter. Fill the bag with the dough while it is still warm—don't let the dough cool.
10. Pipe 4 1/2-inch stripes of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. You should be able to make 9 strips of dough.
11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes until the shells are light brown. Let it cool.
12. Cut the tip off one end of each shell and scrape out the soft doughy center with a cocktail fork or handle end of a spoon.
13. When the inside of the shells have cooled completely, use another bag with a corner cut off (a little smaller hole this time) to fill each one with the chilled filling
14. Make the chocolate glaze by combing the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and 4 teaspoons of water and stir the mixture until it is smooth. If it is too thick, add an additional teaspoon of water.
15. Spread the glaze over the top of each éclair. Serve immediately or you can freeze the éclairs. If frozen, the éclairs should thaw at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Makes 9 éclairs.
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