Light, crisp and hollow gluten free Choux pastry cases. Shape the Choux paste into profiteroles, eclairs, buns, etc ready to fill with cream, Crème Pâtissière, mousse or ice cream. Or go savoury with cream cheese, paté or savoury mousse.
175ml/gwaterThis is better weighed in grams for accuracy. 1 ml = 1 gram
2 largeeggsNOTE 4 weight of each yolk + white = 58-60g
pinchfine sea salt
Whipped Cream Filling
300mldouble creamSEE NOTE 5 below for dairy free filling
1tbspicing (powdered) sugar
½tspvanilla bean powder or pasteoptional
150gdark chocolate - choppeddairy free if required
130g/mldouble cream (1 ml = 1 g)or liquid coconut cream
Weigh and mix the flour, xanthan gum & a pinch of salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Weigh the butter straight into a small to medium non-stick saucepan and melt over a low heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the water and bring to a full boil.
Remove from the heat, IMMEDIATELY add the flour mix and beat vigorously with a wooden/silicone spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. This requires some 'elbow-grease'. The mixture will start to look a little 'scrambled', but will then clump into a ball. Keep beating until even and smooth.
Allow the mixture and pan to cool until about hand-warm. This is important to avoid cooking the egg when you add it.
While cooling, pre-heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7. Base line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
While the mixture is cooling, break the eggs into a small bowl and beat well with a fork.
Once the mixture has cooled, add the beaten egg a little at a time. Beat vigorously with a firm wooden/silicone spoon between each addition. The mixture will initially look like it won't amalgamate, but persevere until it thoroughly combines. Repeat this process until all the egg has been added and then beat for a couple of minutes more to ensure the paste is smooth and even. The texture should be silky and sticky so that it sticks to the sides of the pan. It almost wants to drop off the spoon, but is struggling to do so. If it drops off easily, it is too dry and needs perhaps half a tablespoon more egg/egg white.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with either a 1 to 1.5 cm open round nozzle, or simply cut the end to about the same size.
Pipe the mixture onto the lined baking trays leaving a gap between each for expansion. Pipe into sausage shapes about 10 cm/4 inches long for eclairs (or if you want profiteroles, small walnut-sized balls or for Choux buns, larger balls).
Bake for 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Do NOT open the oven door during this stage.
After 20 minutes, 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, hollow, crisp and firm on the outside. If not crisp and firm, leave in the oven for a couple of minutes more.
Remove from the oven and make a small hole or slit in the side, end or base of each Choux case (using a skewer or small sharp knife) to allow the steam to escape. Allow to cool COMPLETELY on the trays.
Whipped Cream Filling
Put the cream, icing sugar and vanilla powder/paste in a large bowl.
Whisk together until the cream starts to thicken and hold its shape as soft peaks. Be careful not to over-whisk or your cream will start to curdle.
Transfer the cream into a piping bag with a 1 cm round nozzle.
Use the hole point that you made earlier to insert the piping nozzle. Fill each Choux case with cream. Set aside.
Weigh your chopped chocolate into a medium sized heat-proof glass bowl and set aside.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat on the hob over a low heat. Once the cream is just beginning to simmer remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. (Watch carefully as you do NOT want your cream to boil. Remove from the hob as soon as the edges start to simmer.)
Let the chocolate and cream stand for a couple of minutes and then stir until all the chocolate has melted and you have an even chocolate ganache liquid. (If you have any remaining chocolate pieces that haven't melted, give a quick 10 second burst in the microwave and stir again).
Leave the ganache to cool, stirring intermittently until it has reached a thickish dipping consistency.
Dip the top of each of the filled Choux eclairs/buns into the ganache (or spoon and spread over each) and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper to set. Place in the fridge to stay cool while they set.
* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.Note 1 : Gluten Free Flour Blend : This recipe was developed using Gluten Free Alchemist Mix A that you can find the recipe for here. This remains the best flour mix to ensure consistency, a crisp outside and a hollow centre for these Choux cases. However the recipe has also been tested using Doves/Freee plain gluten free flour blend (a commercial rice-based blend). This flour blend required a further ½ to ¾ tablespoon egg white to reach the required pipeable paste consistency. It rose well with a crisp coat, but the centre was not quite as hollow or dry as with GFA mix A. Note 2 : If you choose to use an alternative flour blend that already has xanthan gum in it (check the ingredients list on the pack), you should not need to add as a separate ingredient. Note 3 : Dairy Free - This recipe has also been tested using dairy free butter. The recipe works as expected. Be sure to bring the water and fat to the boil before adding the flour.Note 4 : Egg Weight - The amount of egg that you add for Choux paste is important to the final result. Be sure to use large eggs and judge your batter by sight and feel as described above to be sure you have the right consistency. Each egg weight in shell is 65-70g or weight of each yolk + white = 58-60g.Note 5 : Dairy Free Filling - If you require dairy free filling, you can use either whipped coconut cream, or make dairy free Crème Pâtissière with DF milk. To make a DF ganache, replace the double cream with coconut milk from a shaken can. Dependent on the thickness of your coconut milk, you may need to add a little more chocolate.