These gluten free cream puffs are made with a simple cooked pastry dough called choux pastry. With only five simple pantry ingredients, you're only moments away from a simple but impressive treat!
This is a super short post, but there's a whole lot more about choux pastry and how to make it and work with it in this gougères recipe. Gougères are really just cream puffs made with added cheese. There's even a how-to video for them which I've included here too on this page.
Are you reading this on the eve of a holiday that's leaving you wanting to impress, but without a lot of fuss? These gluten free cream puffs are just the thing.
Like chocolate éclairs, cream puffs are made with a simple French choux pastry. But don't be put off by the funny name. Choux pastry is a super simple dough that's cooked briefly on the stovetop, then piped into mounds (or éclair shapes) and baked in a hot oven.
The eggs in the pastry dough make the dough puff up like a soufflé and hold their shape. For cream puffs, just slice them in half, fill with cream and drizzle with melted chocolate.
The recipe is straight out of my bread cookbook, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. The pastry itself has only 5 ingredients (including salt!), and you almost certainly have all of them in your pantry right now.
Make them for Easter, New Year's, or, well, today. Whatever that day is. I think it was Toni Morrison who said that you should make cream puffs for someone you love, because they at least look like you spent all day in the kitchen. I won't tell if you won't.
Gluten Free Cream Puffs
1 cup milk (not nonfat)
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Pastry Flour*
4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/4 cup (29 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
First, make the pastries. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. Heat the milk, butter, and salt in a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until the butter is completely melted and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour, stirring vigorously. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring vigorously, until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and comes together in a ball (about 2 minutes). A thin film will form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for at least 3 minutes, or until it is no longer hot to the touch.
Transfer half the cooled dough to a blender or food processor. Pour the beaten eggs on top and then add the rest of the dough. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and uniformly well-blended.
Transfer the dough from the blender or food processor to a pastry bag fitted with a large, plain piping tip (about 1 inch in diameter). Pipe the dough into about 20 small mounds, each about 1 1/2 inches high, about 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Smooth the tops of the pastry dough lightly with wet fingers so that nothing will burn during baking. Bake the cream puffs in the center of the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, working quickly, with a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the side of each cream puff to allow steam to escape. Return the pastries on the baking sheet to the oven, turn off the oven, and prop open the oven door slightly. Allow them to sit in the oven until dry (about 30 minutes).
While the pastries are drying in the oven, make the whipped cream. Place the cream in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large metal bowl) fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on medium speed (or use a hand mixer on medium speed) and whip until soft peaks begin to form in the cream. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt, and continue to beat on medium speed until glossy and stiff, but not dry, peaks form. If you turn the mixer speed to high, your whipped cream will not be as stable.
Once the pastries are cool and dry, slice them in half horizontally, spoon some whipped cream on the bottom halves, and then top with the remaining halves. To make the chocolate drizzle, place the chopped chocolate in a small, heat-safe bowl and set it aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over assembled puffs. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2013.