When I heard this month that the theme for the Gluten-free Ratio Rally was Pate a Choux I was happy, but I’d already made versatile mocha and peanut butter eclairs a few years before, so I thought it wouldn’t be a new project, exactly. Little did I know how amazingly versatile pate a choux really is! You can make sweet cream puffs, savory gougeres (french cheese puff balls), and even CHURROS with this dough. Churros? Wow. I thought I would never have churros in my life, to be honest. Well, sorry to disappoint, but I didn’t make them this time, either. I wasn’t feeling up to the deep frying with a toddler underfoot. But I did think that cream puffs would be a lovely treat, after so many years pining after the popular shu-cream at Beard Papa in Japan. One little cream puff stand in the basement food court could make an entire department stores filled with the aroma of sweet, eggy vanilla and cream, and even though I rarely am envious of gluten-foods, these treats were one thing that made me sigh a little to myself. But no more! For this challenge, I came up with a sweet Vanilla Rose Cream puff filling and even an accompanying rose custard. I was initially intending to fill the cream puffs with the custard, but I decided I wanted something more airy, so I went with the whipped cream variety. I am really intrigued by the idea of making dairy-free cream puffs and filling (coconut oil and coconut milk for the whip?) but didn’t have time, so for now, I share these recipes with you for a classic eclair and a floral, spring-inspired cream puff. I hope you enjoy.
Baby Yum was quite intrigued by the rose pudding and stalked it until she couldn’t stand it any more and just dove in for a snack. She also got into the melted chocolate later, but alas, I didn’t get a photo of the amazing chocolate dipped baby. Here’s evidence of the great custard capture:
This month’s Ratio Rally is hosted by Erin of the Sensitive Epicure.
Wondering what this ratio thing is all about? Shauna the Gluten-free Girl started this rally to encourage gluten-free bakers to use scales to measure ingredients, with the argument that it helps take the guesswork out of baking and corrects for the problem of different baking (and measuring) styles. The cutie patootie scale I use is pictured on the right. I got it at Amazon, like most things in my kitchen. I don’t know if I am ready to jump into using my scale for every recipe yet, but it is kind of fun spending quality time with my scale in the kitchen. Try it and see what you think!
For more amazing gluten-free recipes using pate a choux, see the recipes by
My fellow Ratio Rally Bakers*:
- Amanda of Gluten Free Maui | Earl Grey Cream Puffs
Amie of The Healthy Apple | Pate Choux with Creamy Macadamia Icing
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Savoury Paris-Brest
- Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Key Lime Cream Puffs
- Charissa of Zest Bakery | Choux Shine: Koshi-an Filled Cream Puffs
- Claire of Gluten Freedom | Chocolate Eclairs
- Gretchen of kumquat | Cheddar Gougères with Dates and Pine Nuts | A Danish Puff
- Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Gruyère & Herbed Gougères
- Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères
- Mary Fran of Frannycakes | Marillenknodel with ginger and cardamom sugar & chai cream puffs
- Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan | Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)
- Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie | Chouquettes
- Pete & Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem | Almond Choux Florentines
- Rachel of The Crispy Cook | Cream Puffs Filled with Coffee Cream
- Robyn of Chocswirl | Gruyere & Parmesan Gougeres with Sage & Thyme
- Sea of Book of Yum | Rose Vanilla Cream Puffs and Vanilla Eclairs
- Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen | Gluten-Free Spinach Gnocchi Parm
- T.R.of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | Beignets
- Tara of A Baking Life | Parmesan & Black Pepper Gougères | Frangipane Puffs
*oops, initially the links were wrong for a few of these blogs on top. I fixed the ones I found- let me know if any are still broken links!
Gluten-free Pate a Choux Recipe
200g water or milk (I used milk)
120g shortening or butter (I used butter)
3g salt (I used salted butter so left out)
15g sugar for sweet pastry
60g sorghum flour
60g cornstarch or potato starch
60g tapioca starch
300g eggs (for my supposedly large eggs it took around 6 eggs and 1 extra egg white)
Pre-measure flours and other ingredients so they are ready and waiting.
Put your liquid, butter, salt and sugar in a pot on the stove on medium to medium high and bring to a full boil. Take the pot off the stove and dump in all your flour, stirring with a heavy-duty spoon. I like to use my wooden spoons for this. Mix completely and turn down the heat to low. Return the pan to the stove, stirring the heavy dough constantly until it forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan. I put my dough in a standing mixer but if you are buff or want an arm workout, you can do the next step in the pan. Mix the dough on a low speed (or with your buff arm muscles) until the dough has cooled down to at least 140f (60c). Then you can add your eggs, one at a time, beating each one in on medium speed until it is completely mixed in, and then adding the next one. You can use your paste right away or cool it in the refrigerator overnight. I cooled it overnight.
To bake, preheat oven to 425f. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can use a dab of dough as glue to keep the sheet stuck to the pan, or not.
Put the paste in a sturdy freezer safe ziploc bag and cut a hole out of the corner. You can use pastry tips if you have them. I don’t, so I just use the 1/2 inch hole in the bag as my “tip.”
To make eclairs, pipe 4 inch logs onto the pan. To make cream puffs, pipe or spoon out golf-ball sized spheres onto the baking sheet.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes and then, without opening the oven door, lower heat to 375 and bake for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown. Better to overbake than underbake! When the eclairs or cream puffs look really browned and sturdy, you can open the oven door and turn each one over, piercing the bottom with a toothpick. For my best results, I turned off my (gas) oven and let them sit in the oven and presumably come down in temperature before taking them out.
About half of my cream puffs looked pretty, and the rest cracked prior to taking them out. The non-cracked ones stayed inflated. The eclairs I took out too soon, so they deflated.
Vanilla Custard Recipe and chocolate sauce for eclairs
3 cups milk
1 vanilla bean cut in half horizontally, or teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoons butter
Chocolate sauce for eclairs:
Prepare filling by combining milk and vanilla and heat on medium-low until just before it starts to boil. Take off burner and let sit for 15 minutes. Whisk together eggs, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl until you have a light yellow, creamy sauce. Add 1/4 cup of your warm milk, pouring in gradually and whisking as you pour. Then add the rest in a slow, continuous stream, whisking. Pour back in sauce pan and bring to a low simmer , whisking all the while. When it starts to thicken, take your pan off the burner, whisking like mad. As it cools, add your tablespoon of butter and let it melt into the sauce. When it is no longer too hot, cover with saran wrap or wax paper so it can’t form a skin. Put in refrigerator as soon as it is not burning hot, or put the pan in an ice bath to cool it enough to place it on your refrigerator rack.
For the chocolate sauce, combine chocolate with butter in a microwavable dish and nuke at 30 second intervals, stirring after each time until it is a smooth, melted sauce. Don’t overcook! If your chocolate is bitter, you can add sifted powdered sugar and whisk in to sweeten.
For assembling eclairs, pipe custard inside the eclair OR if your eclairs have deflated, slice them neatly in half horizontally and either pipe or use knife to fill. Dip in chocolate sauce and then let harden on a cooling rack. If it is a hot day you could do this in a tupperware in the refrigerator- I hate to have custard out at room temperature for long! Enjoy!
Rose Whipping Cream filling for Cream Puffs
at least 1 cup whipping cream (more depending on how many cream puffs you are making)
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2-2 tsp. rose water (to taste- I bought mine at an Indian market)
*rose petals/ buds (*optional garnish found at Middle Eastern markets)
Put whipping cream and powdered sugar in a bowl and whip to stiff peaks. Gently fold in rose water. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.
To assemble your cream puffs, slice in half horizontally. Put a thin layer of your jam inside the cream puff and then fill with the rose water whipped cream. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, you can dip the underside of your rose petals in the whipped cream and gently attach them to the top of the cream puff for decoration.
I served mine with rose custard on the side, in case there wasn’t enough rose-flavored goodness involved.
Vanilla Rose Pudding
6 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
50 g sugar
1 tbsp. edible dried rose petals or rose buds (from Middle Eastern market)
3 tbsp rose water (or more to taste)
500 ml drinking milk (whatever percent your family drinks)
100 ml heavy cream
1 vanilla pod, cut in half and then cut horizontally with seeds scraped
1/2 tsp vanilla (to taste)
Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar and rose water together in a bowl until smooth. Put your milk and cream, split vanilla pod and rose petals or rosebuds in a saucepan on medium-low heat and take off heat before it reaches a boil. Let milk steep for fifteen minutes or so and then pour over your egg yolk mixture through a strainer, whisking together as you do so. Return the combined egg and milk mixture to your sauce pan and heat on low until it thickens. Remove from heat and let cool. Once no longer hot, put a layer of plastic on top of the custard so it does not form a skin and refrigerate. To serve, garnish with edible rose petals. Can be used as a cream puff filling, but I preferred rose water whipped cream for this.