Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gluten-Free Eclairs

Mark found this great little gluten-free cookbook at Anthropologie (one of my favorite stores) called Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan. I love it already - it's full of desserts that look absolutely luscious! The first one I tried was this gluten-free eclair. It was a HUGE success! I think it was one of Katie's all-time favorite gluten-free desserts. It took several steps, but it was well worth the effort. These are absolutely delicious - make them for your next special dessert or just because... I promise no one will know they're gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Eclairs
for the dough...
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
2 tabelspoons tapioca flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum)
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

for the pastry cream...
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt

for the chocolate glaze...
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup powdered sugar

to make the dough...
In a small bowl, combine the sorghum and tapioca flours, cornstarch, and xanthan gum.  Whisk to blend. 

In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, water, half-and-half, granulated sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Add the dry ingredients and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan (this will only take a minute or two). 

Immediately transfer the dough to a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds to cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg white, and baking powder. With the food processor running, add the egg mixture in a slow steady stream to make a thick, sticky paste (this will take only about a minute). 

For this next step you can use a pastry bag fitted with a 1 inch plain tip or use a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off to create a 1 inch hole. Fill the pastry bag with the paste. Pipe 2-inch long strips on a baking sheet that's been covered with either parchment paper or a silicon baking mat (such as silpat), keeping about 2 inches between the strips of paste. I was able to create 8 eclairs with this amount.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR during those 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 5 minutes more or until golden brown. Remove the eclairs from the oven and pierce the side of each one with a paring knife. Turn off the oven and return the eclairs to the oven leaving the door ajar for another 10 minutes. Then remove the eclairs from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

to make the pastry cream...
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Gradually whisk the hot milk into the eggs, then return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the salt and continue cooking until the spoon leaves a trail in the mixture. Remove from heat and transfer the pastry cream to a bowl to cool completely. (You can refrigerate the pastry cream for a day if needed.)

to make the chocolate glaze...
Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals until melted (about 2 minutes). Stir between each interval. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until very smooth. Allow the glaze to cool and thicken slightly. 

To assemble the eclairs, slice each eclair in half but only for half of the length of each eclair. Fit a pastry bag (or ziplock bag) with a small pastry tip (I used a Wilton #230). Fill the pastry bag with some of the pastry cream. Insert the tip into each eclair and fill with the pastry cream. 

Use a spatula to frost the top of each eclair with the chocolate glaze. Allow to set for about 10 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. 


recipe slightly adapted from Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan

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