Who says gluten free baking has to be harder than the other kind? Making profiteroles or cream puffs as they are known in the US are filled French choux pastry balls. These little gems can either have a sweet or savory center. In this case I made a raspberry cream filling by sweetening a little whipped cream and adding some smashed raspberries.
Don't shy away from this recipe because it is not your regular weighing ingredients and mixing the dry with the wet. Making choux pastry is like magic. Sloppy dough that's not quite stiff but not batter either that magically forms into crusty little balls that are hollow on the inside, perfect for filling with whatever tickles your fancy.
I always make the puffs small so they are an easy one-biter without it being messy for your guests or yourself, easier to hide the evidence. But you could make them larger or into eclairs too. This recipe makes about 24 puffs.
If you like to use this time to get a little workout in beat the eggs into the dough with wooden spoon till it's nice and smooth. I have given up on that, seeing the muscles in my arm were screaming as soon as they saw what needed to be done so I switched over to use my KitchenAid with paddle attachment.
- You can make these dairy free by using a dairy free butter substitute such as Earth Balance and fill it with your favorite dairy free ice cream by splitting the puffs in half instead of using a piping bag for the filling.
3 oz gluten free flour mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
pinch of salt
4 fl.oz water
2 oz butter
6 eggs, room temperature
Preheat your oven to 400F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Sprinkle a little water over them. This will create a little steam in the oven.
On a piece of parchment paper, sieve the gluten free flour and the xanthan gum together. Set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan combine the water, butter and pinch of salt and bring to a quick boil. As soon as it boils take it off the heat and add the flour mixture while beating it with a wooden spoon or spatula till smooth.
Put it back on a low heat and stir for 30 seconds, you will see the bottom of the saucepan becoming fuzzy. Take it off the heat. And let it cool some otherwise your eggs will scramble due to the heat.
In a small bowl crack 5 eggs and whisk till well blended and set aside.
Now here is where the arm workout comes in. Or if you want to make it a little easier on yourself use a KitchenAid with the paddle attachment. Add a little egg at a time to your dough and beat it till it becomes nice and smooth. It will split when you add the egg but it will come together, a little patience is needed. Keep adding almost the rest of the egg in the same way. You will see the dough coming together and starts to get shiny. What you are looking for is a shiny, soft dough that reluctantly drops of a spoon. You might need the rest of what you saved and maybe even a little of the 6th egg. If it's too wet it won't stay up when you pipe it to form balls.
Use a piping bag with a large round piping tip. If you don't have a piping bag use a ziplock bag with a corner cut off or 2 spoons. One to scoop the dough and the other to push it off the spoon onto the cookie sheet. If using a piping back hold your bag vertically above your cookie sheet and squeeze your dough until you have a ball a little smaller than a golf ball. Stop squeezing and pull the piping bag away from a the ball quickly. Use your finger dipped in water to gently smooth the top. Use a little beaten egg to glaze the puffs.
Bake the puffs for 15 minutes at 400F. Lower the heat to 400F and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the puffs are crisp and golden all over with no more yellow showing.
Remove them from the oven and poke a small hole on the side of each puff with a skewer so the steam can escape and return them to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Let them cool on a wired rack.
I filled mine with whipped cream to which I added some powdered sugar. I believe that the amount of sugar depends on your taste. Start off with adding 1 tablespoon to 4 floz of heavy cream, whip it till it has soft peaks and taste. Add more sugar if necessary. I mashed some fresh raspberries and folded these into the whipped cream. Drizzle with a little melted chocolate and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
You can fill them with any flavored whipped cream, ice cream or savory filling by either using the little hole as an access for your piping bag or split them in half and fill.
The puffs are best eaten as soon as possible but will keep unfilled, in an airtight container, for a couple of days. I like to reheat them at 350F for 5 minutes so they crisp up again. Eat them as soon as they are filled otherwise they will lose their crispiness.