I love desserts. My long list includes cream puffs and eclairs. I remember, our grandparents would always come home with goodies from their day in the “town.” And most times, just when you are craving for that wonderful cream puff goodness, that is exactly what they bring home, a bag from Dulcinea. Aren’t grandparents and their 6th sense just absolutely amazing?!
Aside from cream puffs being gluten full, it is also dairy full. 2 things my gut is sensitive to.
My baking sister, Erica (owner of Curlee Momma) shared with me her cream puff recipe a year ago. I’ve edited the recipe here and there, adjusted it to make it gluten free and dairy free, and still taste amazing!
I forgot to take step by step pictures the 1st time I made it. I was too preoccupied with the adjustments, especially since Almond milk isn’t really as cheap as full cream milk and I didn’t want it to go to waste. The lack of fotos was a perfect excuse to make a new batch! And since husband is in India for a business trip, I get to test and rate each and every cream puff! Quality control 😉
You start with the puffs:
In a saucepan, mix 4 teaspoons of white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of almond milk and 1/3 cup of ghee.
On high heat, bring this to a boil rapidly and add your 1/2 c gluten free flour all at once.
You know you are done when you see a white film as seen in the photo in the bottom of your saucepan. Transfer your dough to a mixing bowl.
Get those muscles ready cause you gon be using it with your mixer. Here you will need 4 eggs. Mix the eggs one at a time until you have mixed all four. Continue mixing until your dough is smooth.
This is how it looked after I have mixed all 4 eggs.
This is how it looks right when you are almost done.
Transfer dough into a piping bag. No tip necessary, just cut the top with scissors.
I was able to pipe 20 puffs with this recipe. Point your piping bag down on the baking sheet and press for the dough to come out, I did 5 counts per puff.
Next, get a bowl of water, wet your fingers and press the tips down gently.
Bake them for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Then lower oven fire to 170 degrees Celsius and bake it for 20 minutes more. When done, transfer puffs to a cooling rack.
For the pastry cream:
In a bowl, mix 4 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons white sugar, and 3 tablespoons RICE FLOUR. The first time I did this, I used gluten free flour mix and if you have used this flour mixture before you know that there is an after taste you get in the uncooked dough. My pastry cream had a bit of an after taste, for me. Husband thought it was delicious, but then again, he thinks that everything I make is yommy. He is bound by our marriage contract to like everything I bake and cook. AND to say “Yes dear” all the time.
Anyway… In a saucepan, mix 1 cup almond milk and 1 tablespoon ghee. Bring this to a boil, then pour half of intoyour mixing bowl with the egg yolk mixture. Stir until it is lump free, and pour everything back into the saucepan with the almond milk and ghee.
Keeping stirring until mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix. Set it aside and let it cool.
Whip it up before transferring it into a piping bag.
Cut your puffs in half and pipe your pastry cream in the middle of the bottom piece, then put back the top part of the puff.
You can caramelize sugar and dip the top piece of the puff in it, or you can sprinkle gluten free powdered sugar on it.
To caramelize sugar:
In a saucepan mix 1/4 cup water, 1 cup refined sugar, and few drops of lemon juice. Mix it well.
Place saucepan on stove at medium heat and stir until it starts to simmer. You have to stop stirring once it simmers, otherwise it will crystallize. Adjust stove heat to high and dip your candy thermometer in the pan making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Resist the urge to stir it. I repeat, resist the urge to stir it. Just watch it closely, you will see the color change to caramel.
Once the thermometer reads 340 degrees Celsius, remove the saucepan from the stove and dip it in a bowl with ice water, this will prevent your sugar from cooking further. As you can see in my picture, I went a little over 340 degrees, the great lengths I go through to take these pictures 😉
I dipped the top of the cream puff in the saucepan, then placed it back on the rack, take note- using my bare hands. So you shouldn’t be surprised that during this process, I was also taking fotos with my left hand, I somehow got a drop of sugar on my finger. FREAKIN’ PAINFUL! It throbbed the wholeeee night. Do not make this stupid mistake. I am tell you!
It seems pretty tedious, but then again, with my limited food options, being able to enjoy these cream puffs is worth all that trouble, and sugar burn.