Gluten Free Dairy Free Cream Puffs Recipe
I have a new fetish. And while it sounds a lot like my old fetish, trust me, there are no Jimmy Choos or Manola Blahniks involved. I have a choux fetish. Pate Choux to be exact.
I spent the entire weekend testing batch after batch of this fabulous, basic dough. I made them using the gluten-free flour blend I developed for my book. I made them with sweet rice flour alone. I baked them and fried them. I tweaked the baking and resting times trying to get the perfect combo for crispy outsides and light, airy innards. I stuffed them with pastry cream, whipped cream and jam.
And then I decided to take it one step further and see how they would come out dairy-free. Concerns popped into my head as after all the dough is basically water, butter, eggs and flour. I was not happy with the results when I substituted dairy-free butter substitute for the butter and found they were flavorless with oil and water. So I tried coconut milk and grape-seed oil and voilà! Perfect. So perfect in fact that I actually prefer these babies to the regular ones.
The cream puffs can be frozen after baking, crisped in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, cooled and filled before serving or you can just freeze them filled. I decided to freeze up a batch to take to a party the next day and forgot to thaw them and they were just as good frozen as they were when they thawed for about 30 minutes.
As a note I only use very finely milled sweet rice flour when baking. It is sometimes called glutinous rice flour but don’t let the name fool you. There is no gluten. I prefer Asian sweet rice flour as it is milled really finely (after all, Asian cultures have been making delectable rice pastries for centuries, so I think they have it down AND it is at least half the price of the stuff you get at the health food store).
Despite the use of coconut milk these do not really taste “coconutty” and only the people at the party with the most discerning palates picked up the coconut. BTW – this entire recipe (puffs, pastry cream and chocolate ganache) uses just under 2 cans of coconut milk – there’s just enough leftover for your cup of coffee.
- 4 large eggs – plus 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup coconut milk – shake can well before measuring
- 1 pinch kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup sweet rice flour – or you can use an all-purpose gluten-free flour mixture
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 6 large egg yolks – at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 4 ounces dark dairy-free chocolate chips
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking sheets.
Crack the eggs and yolk into a liquid measuring cup or pitcher.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the oil, coconut milk and salt and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Stir to try and incorporate the oil into the coconut milk. It won’t completely happen but don’t worry. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil turn the heat down to medium-low and dump in the flour all at once. Stir quickly and in one direction with a wooden spoon. The liquid will start absorbing the flour and will form into a ball. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 or 2 minutes. You will see that some of the oil is separating out from the dough--that’s fine.
Dump the dough (separated oil and all) into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat the dough for about 1 minute on medium speed to cool it off slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you are incorporating the eggs some oil may splatter to the sides of the bowl and it will look like a lumpy, gooey mess. No worries! Continue mixing until the dough is uniformly smooth, thick and shiny, about 3 – 5 minutes.
Using a small ice cream scoop, place the dough on prepared pans spacing them about an inch apart. If you are good at piping then you can pipe little mounds about 1 ½ inches wide by 1 inch high. Moisten your finger with water and push down the little peaks as they will burn.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned (time may be shorter or longer depending on the size). Turn the oven off and leave the pastries in the oven for another 20 minutes to dry out. The puffs should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven and pierce the side of each puff with a small, sharp knife to let the steam escape. Let cool completely.
Cut in half horizontally and fill with dairy free pastry cream.
Combine the coconut milk and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks with the sugar on medium high speed until the mixture is light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the cornstarch. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back to low and slowly add the hot coconut milk to the egg mixture. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat until thick and it just starts to come back up to a boil, stirring constantly with a spoon or whisk. Continue cooking for 1 – 2 minutes. Do not cook more than 2 minutes or the cornstarch will lose its effectiveness. Don’t worry if your pastry cream looks curdled, just whisk it until it smooths out again.
Remove from heat and stir in the extracts. Strain into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 – 3 hours. Give the pastry cream a good whisking before filling the puffs.
Top with either dairy free ganache or dust with some confectioners’ sugar.
Pour the chocolate chips into a small heatproof bowl. Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate, add the vanilla extract and let set undisturbed for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache is glossy. Let the gluten free ganache sit for 5 minutes or so to thicken up.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.