Happy Fiesta Friday!
It has come to my attention that while I’ve been experimenting with lots of savouries, all the supplies I had set aside for baking are now in desperate need of being used before they expire. I unfortunately ended up having to throw two or three things out because of being past their use by. And this has made me anxious to use up the other things as I hate waste. So for a little while I’ll be doing a bit more baking between savouries again!
I eventually landed on this recipe for cream puffs after a few kitchen accidents took out the other contender for this post, which would have been a gluten-free Jam Roll. I love cream puffs and I was quite thrilled with the last batch I made. But I wanted to see if I could find something with less flour variations and no added xantham gum. I was sure there would be something out there. Coincidentally the same Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook I was using for the Jam Roll recipe also had a recipe for cream puffs!
I didn’t have enough ingredients to make a completely dairy free adaptation as well as making it gluten-free, unfortunately, although I did have enough lactose free milk to make lactose free creme patisserie, which was fun! It all came together splendidly and so I feel there’s definitely room for experimenting to make this completely lactose free at the very least.
My favourite part about this recipe was how the puffs puffed. I used larger spoonfuls as their recommendation of sizing seemed far too small for the cooking time and temperature, as well as too generous in terms of portions. It was glorious watching them expand and expand and expand! These had easily three times the expansion that my last cream puffs did and their insides were gloriously hollow, leaving only that perfect thin layer of puff and a large cavity inside perfect for filling!
Adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly
Makes: 11-12, Prep: 30-35 mins combined, Cook: Up to 50-55 mins combined
- 1/2 cup/125ml water
- 60g unsalted butter, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/2 cup/75g gluten-free plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp icing sugar (for dusting)
Creme Patisserie Ingredients
- 3 cups/750ml milk, or lactose free milk
- 2/3 cup/150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, or a splash of vanilla bean paste
- 1/3 cup/50g gluten-free cornflour or cornstarch
- 6 egg yolks
- I recommend making the creme patisserie the night before, for convenience. So we’ll start there.
- Combine the egg yolks and cornflour in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan combine the milk, vanilla and caster sugar and bring up to the boil.
- You’ll have to work very quickly now. Add a splash of the milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk very quickly and thoroughly to loosen it. Then pour in the rest of the milk mixture in a steady stream, whisking very, very briskly to make sure the milk doesn’t cook your eggs. It may help to have someone else hold the bowl.
- Return this mix to the saucepan and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and is barely bubbling. It really shouldn’t take long, a couple of minutes at most.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl and cover with gladwrap, pressing it right to the surface of the custard, and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hrs. I also recommend using a bowl with a lid to prevent the custard from picking up any smells from the fridge.
- Next, we’re going to make the puffs.
- Preheat the oven to 220C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In a medium saucepan combine the water, butter and caster sugar and bring up to the boil while stirring and making sure all the butter is melted.
- Add the flour and stir quickly, while the pan is still on the heat, until the mixture pulls away from the pan and comes together into a smooth sort of ball or lump.
- Remove from the heat and beat in two of the eggs, one at a time. Beat thoroughly between each addition. You’ll see the mixture come together to be smooth, if somewhat firm.
- Whisk the remaining egg and beat it in, a little at a time, until the mixture is thick and glossy but still holds its shape. I used the whole third egg but you might not need to.
- Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the trays, about two inches apart. They’ll need puffing space!
- Bake for 10 mins at 220C. Then reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake for a further 10 mins, or until browned all over and the puffs sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and cut small slits in the base of each puff. Then return them to the oven for another 10-15 mins or until the puffs are nice and dry.
- Remove immediately and cool on a wire rack.
- Once cool, assembly can begin.
- Pop the creme patisserie into a piping bag fitted with a plain 5mm/1/4 inch nozzle, or a ziplock bag with a 5mm hole snipped in one corner. Poke a small hole into each puff and pipe in the creme patisserie. Or if you like you can just cut the tops off and spoon the creme patisserie inside.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Note! Puffs are best eaten on the same day as making! And try to hold off on assembly until you’re about to serve, to prevent them from getting soggy.