These are great gluten-free mini bakes that highlight the fact that gluten-free food need not have the texture and flavour of cardboard or be at all boring! And these were quick to make, with two batches ready to eat in about an hour.
Choux pastry opens up all manner of exciting possibilities for both sweets and savouries: the variations are endless!
For a savoury choux pastry, omit the sugar and mix goodies such as grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese, cayenne pepper or chopped chives into the pastry before piping, but don’t over-do it as you might not get the very light pastries that you need.
For this post I made up two batches: one savoury and one sweet.
Savoury flavour: BLT
I filled the baked éclairs with a mixture of shredded rocket, finely chopped crispy bacon, smoked ham and finely chopped tomato, bound together with just a little seasoned cream cheese. Basically, things lying around! I piped just a little cream cheese (lightly flavoured with tomato) on top and placed over a crispy Parmesan strip.
Sweet flavour: raspberry & chocolate
I filled the choux buns with whipped double cream mixed with fresh raspberry curd and topped them with melted chocolate and small pieces of vanilla white chocolate.
Gluten-free choux pastry: makes about 16 small choux buns or 10 small éclairs
- 135ml water
- 50g butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 75g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s GF bread flour)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- egg-wash (beaten egg yolk with a splash of milk)
(1) Preheat the oven to 190C (fan) and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
(2) Heat the water, butter, salt and, if wanting sweet choux, the sugar in a saucepan gently until the butter has melted. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Once the water has come to the boil add the flour and mix well until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Turn down the heat and keep beating for another minute or two. Remove from heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
(3) Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. You can use a wooden spoon or a hand-mixer. The paste might look unsightly to begin (slippery and it might seem as if it will not come together) but with beating and after a few more additions of egg it will become smooth and glossy. For savoury choux, add the flavourings at this stage eg) grated cheese, chopped roasted onions, chopped chives……
(4) Spoon or pipe the pastry onto the baking sheets, leaving space between them to allow for expansion. Brush lightly with egg wash. For savoury choux, sprinkle over a little grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size, until they are a nice golden brown colour. Pierce with a skewer to allow the steam to escape and cool before filling.