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 a batch ready to be eaten within 1 hour.
Choux pastry opens up all manner of exciting possibilities for both sweets and savouries: the variations are endless!
A BLT éclair!
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.
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
- 75g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s GF bread flour)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 50g mature Cheddar, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 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.
(4) Add the cheese and beating well into the mixture.
(5) Spoon or pipe the pastry onto the baking sheets, leaving space between them to allow for expansion. Brush lightly with egg wash and 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.