I occasionally try to improve upon my cream puff recipe, also known in French as pâte à choux. Though I already have a recipe for gluten free cream puffs on this blog, the improvements made deserve a new post. They turned out incredible!
After watching a video on YouTube (see bottom of this post for video), I finally found out that the reason why I was left with moist dough in the center of my cream puffs was because I was not baking them long enough. And because I now make them with my gluten free all-purpose flour blend recipe, I thought I’d try making them exactly as stated in the video. Because the gal was from France she baked with weight measurements in grams instead of cups. Though she did provide conversions for cups, as she stated in the video below, baking by weight is more accurate. Therefore, I thought I’d give it a go. When measuring the flour by weight I found that I needed much more. Instead of 1 cup, I needed over 1 1/8 cups. However, when attempting to achieve a similar dough texture I had to add additional eggs, as I had to in my earlier recipe. However, there are changes in the method of making them. Be sure to read my “update” in the Tips section below.Shortly after watching the video, I came across a photo of gluten free cream puffs on Facebook. It was created by the owner and chef of the new, contemporary Helmut Newcake bakery and cafe, the first gluten free bakery in Paris, and all of France. It opened in December of 2011. They make the most elegant desserts, among other things, that I have ever seen, at least in the gluten free world. It’s probably needless to say, but they inspired my plating idea. No matter how you decorate or plate yours, I hope you enjoy these gluten free cream puffs. Perhaps a chocolate coating inside or on the top? [I tried it with gluten free chocolate coating the inside bottom and it is heavenly!] What will you do?
In a small bowl, whisk together flour blend, sugar, and salt; set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add water and butter. Bring to boil.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in flour mixture using a wooden spoon until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the pan or to the spoon.
Transfer dough to the bowl of your mixer and beat for 30 seconds to allow steam to escape. Allow to cool 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and after each addition, beat for 1 minute on medium speed. (This is key.)
Drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto a non-stick cookie sheet or pipe using a pastry bag fitted with a no. 5 tip to make them fancier. There is no need to leave a lot of room between each puff as they do not expand much. If necessary, smooth out any peaks that form on the top with a wet finger.
Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350°F and bake until they are golden brown and a knife inserted near the bottom, on the side, comes out clean, 50 - 55 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Immediately transfer cream puffs to a wire rack to cool completely and dry out overnight. You can store them in the oven once it cools down.
Slice off the top third; remove some of the heavier, moist dough from the tops and bottoms. Fill with your favorite filling. Do not fill until ready to serve. Add tops back on. If desired, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar by adding the sugar to a small, fine mesh strainer and tap the side while it is above the cream puff.
If you find that your cream puffs are doughy in the middle, note that there are several reasons why this occurs: (a) they were not baked long enough; (b) the oven temperature was too low; or (c) you opened the oven door during baking. You can remove any dough that is too moist prior to filling.
If using a pastry bag to pipe the dough, create a circle of dough on the baking sheet and smaller ones as you go higher. Then prior to withdrawing, quickly jerk the ba to the side. Doing so avoids creating peaks on the tops.
To Make Eclairs:
Pipe out the dough in an oval shape. Keep them fairly small so they cook through and through. Then fill them with your desired filling, and top them with Gluten Free Chocolate Ganache.