Saturday, 26 July 2014

Rhubarb & White Chocolate Eclairs (gluten free)


Choux pastry was one of the first challenges I was desperate to try when we first went gluten free. If there was a party to go to, my offering had often been a batch of profiteroles and the ingredients to knock up a quick chocolate sauce fresh when I got there. The thought of 'no profiteroles' was too much to bear.......


New gluten free cook books in hand, I scoured the indexes and internet looking for a gluten free version of choux, to no avail. Although there are more these days, at that time I realised I would have to go it alone......... Scary! I was only a month or so into the strange world of gluten free baking and all my kitchen understanding and knowledge had been turned upside down.


I have been told that making choux pastry can be quite tricky, but I had never had a failed batch, so set to work on de-glutenising and adapting the trusty recipe from school food science lessons, which was by now 30 years old!

Although my first attempt was a bit soggy, it sort of resembled a batch of profiteroles (I didn't dare risk piping the dough at that stage). A few more attempts and ingredient tweaks later and I was jumping for joy! I haven't changed my recipe since...........


Tested on friends and relatives, this choux has not let me down yet. I make it with my own flour blend  A (found here), which is a balanced combination of brown and white rice flours, cornflour, tapioca and potato starch, so confess I have no idea whether it would work as well with a commercial GF flour blend.......... and as gluten free flours have such very different properties, the ratios in the blend can be crucial for some recipes.


This month's Love Cake challenge is the perfect opportunity to share my gluten free choux. Hosted by Ness over at Jibber Jabber, July's theme is 'French'. Eclairs (long, thin choux pastry cases filled with cream and topped with icing) are thought to have originated in France at the turn of the nineteenth century. They are usually filled with either whipped cream or pastry cream and topped with dark chocolate fondant icing, but the possibilities for variations in flavour, filling and toppings are endless.


The inspiration for these eclairs comes straight from my garden. Our rhubarb plant which had a bit of a slow start this year, has suddenly gone ballistic! Needing to start using it, I can feel quite a lot of inspiration heading my way........... But for this week, I thought it might be a good summery flavour for this French delight.


Simmered down into a rhubarb syrup and folded into the cream which fills each eclair, the rhubarb gives them a slightly tart, fruity tang, complimented by a sweet white chocolate iced topping. Delicious. Apparently, some editions of the Chambers dictionary define eclairs as 'a cake, long in shape but short in duration'............... I think that speaks for itself!


Lavender & Lovage

Farmersgirl Kitchen



Rhubarb & White Chocolate Eclairs

Choux Pastry (gluten free) (makes approx 14 small eclairs)

Ingredients

65g plain white GF flour mix (I used blend A from this post)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
50g unsalted butter
175 ml water
2 large eggs - lightly beaten

Method

  1. Base line a baking sheet with baking paper or use a silpat sheet.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7.
  3. Weigh and mix the flour and xanthan gum into a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat.
  5. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Beat well with a wooden/silicone spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
  7. Cool slightly and add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Make sure the mixture is completely combined and even.
  8. Pipe the mixture into sausage shapes about 10 cm/4 inches long, using a large open round nozzle, onto the baking sheet(s).
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2 (open the oven door for a few seconds to allow a little heat to escape) and bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and hollow.
  10. Remove from the oven and cut a small slit in the side or end of each eclair case to allow the steam to escape. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Rhubarb Cream

Ingredients

1 stick (approx 130g) fresh rhubarb
140g caster sugar
30 ml water
300 ml double cream

Method

  1. Wash and cut the rhubarb into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and water and bring to the boil stirring.
  2. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  3. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold in the rhubarb syrup.
  4. Pipe the cream into the eclair cases using a smallish piping nozzle through the slits made earlier. 
  5. Set aside in the fridge until ready to dip in chocolate.

White Chocolate 'icing'

Ingredients

100g white chocolate
10g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1-2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave set to medium on 30 second bursts, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the golden syrup. The mixture will become 'clumpy'.
  3. Add the milk and stir through until the mixture becomes smooth again.
  4. Dip the eclairs in the chocolate or coat the tops using the back of a spoon.
  5. Place in the fridge to set.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

18 comments:

  1. Wow they look amazing. I tried making gf eclairs once too, they were more like flat floppy biscuits. These look great. Will have to give them a go.
    The addition of rhubarb is great as I find just cream alone can bit a bit too much.

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    1. Thanks Katie. They have worked really well for me and seem a pretty close resemblance to the 'real' thing. The rhubarb definitely tempers the sweetness. I think they would be great without any additional topping or even with dark chocolate as a less sweet alternative!

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  2. Love the idea of rhubarb cream and love that white chocolate icing - it looks amazing

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    1. Thanks CC. The rhubarb cream was quite a discovery.......... I shall definitely be using it again!

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  3. i've never had a white chocolate eclair before.. definitely on my to eat list now. love it!

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    1. Thanks Thalia. I am having a bit of a love affair with white chocolate right now and seem to be putting it in and on anything!

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  4. Oh well done for mastering GF choux pastry. I haven't managed to master non GF! These look gorgeous. Rhubarb and white chocolate is a firm favourite with me, so do please bring along a batch to my next party.

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    1. Thanks Choclette and happy to oblige.... All parties should have eclairs (GF or not!)

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  5. My big dictionary is a Chambers and I can confirm it has that definition for eclairs! My rhubarb has come alive this month as well after being rather feeble this year. An absolutely delightful recipe. Thanks for linking up to Love Cake.

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    1. Thanks for the confirmation Ness! It's so good to have garden-fresh rhubarb....... I am thinking I might put some of the cream in a cake next time it was that good!

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  6. You are now my go to recipe source for GF recipes. I love how you experiment and create your own recipes. I love eclairs although I've not made my own for a long time. The rhubarb cream sounds delicious too.

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  7. Thanks Ros.... I am so glad that they might be of some help to other people too! Since going gluten free, my kitchen seems to have become more of a laboratory than a kitchen. I am determined to create gluten free versions of all my long-missed favourites!

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  8. I have not made eclairs for ages! I kind of forgot about them. I don't know why as they are ever so delicious! And gluten free are even better. I like the combination of white chocolate and rhubarb. A beautiful combo indeed. Very inventive!

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    1. Thanks Alida. It seemed like a different way to use rhubarb....... but a discovery that will definitely feature again in my kitchen!

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  9. You are definitely an alchemist, what beautiful eclairs. I would never have guessed they were gluten-free and I hope you will take that as a compliment. I love the idea of rhubarb in eclairs, in fact, I nearly made some myself, but in the end decided on a different recipe. Thank you for joining us for the Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round Up.

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    1. Thanks Janice...... Absolutely I take that as a compliment! I was so excited when I managed to make GF Choux.
      It was really nice to have an eclair with a slight tartness about them too!

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  10. These look lush. I've never seen gluten free eclairs before, I bet they were a real treat!

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    1. Thank you Heather. It was one of the things I knew I would miss most when I went GF, so I was thrilled I managed to make them!

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