Ratio Rally: Pâte à Choux

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cream puuffsgluten free ratio rally logoI am a joiner. And this time it was for something really great – the blogging event started by Shauna at GlutenFreeGirl – the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. It is all about the relationship between the ingredients. It gives you freedom to just cook. And bake. We start with a ratio for a well known (& loved) product and go from there.

This month’s rally was Pâte à Choux. A perfect opportunity to indulge in French pastry. I adore french pastries. (Okay, I adore all pastries). This particular technique for pastry dough has many applications – from sweet to savory, I had to stop myself from cooking myself into a sugar coma. After reading up on the dough, I found out that there are so many different things that you can make with this dough. There were the usual: eclairs, gougeres and profiteroles (cream puffs), the extravagant: croquembouche (a large number or profiteroles) and St. Honoré Cake, the surprising: churros and the one I had never heard of and absolutely had to make and make my own: Marillenknödel.

Chai Cream Puffs

I needed to start with the basic Pâte à Choux. The ratio here is 2:1:1:2. 8 ounces liquid, 4 ounces fat, 4 ounces flour, 4 eggs (8 ounces). Simple math and stunning results.  Getting this dough right, once you understand what is happening, is simple (although easy to mess up). This recipe works in traditional baking, not because of gluten, but because of the starches and the eggs. Like all baking (especially pastries) it is important that you pay close attention to what you are doing. There are a very specific chain of chemical reactions taking place.

This mix works because there is a good mix of starches & whole grains. If you need to know what flours to swap for (the brown rice & sorghum are whole grains, the sweet white rice and tapioca are starches), you can reference this chart. Only replace starches with starch and grains with grains for predictable results.

If you want to read about my foray into German apricot dumplings, read part 2 of this post.

A special thanks to Erin at the Sensitive Epicure for hosting this month’s event!

And here is a list of this month’s participants:

[box type=”info”]If you have never baked by weight, I encourage you to try it. Scales can be obtained relatively inexpensively and help you to achieve consistent results in your baking. [/box]

Gluten Free Pate a Choux with Chai Pastry Cream
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Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 60 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Serves: 24
Cream Puffs with a spicy twist
Ingredients
  • 8 oz (by weight) whole milk (a scant cup)
  • 4 oz (1 stick) butter
  • 1.2 oz sorghum flour
  • 1.2 oz brown rice flour
  • 8 oz tapioca flour
  • 8 oz sweet rice flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 21/4 cups milk
  • 2 T loose chai tea
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Make the choux: Whisk flours, cardamom & xantham gum together. Boil milk, butter & salt. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour all at once. Stir until ingredients start to pull away from the sides of the pot. Remove from heat & put in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next one. Chill the dough covered for at least half an hour.
  2. Make the chai milk: Simmer the milk and chai over medium-low heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Strain milk into measuring cup, discarding any extra.
  3. Make your puffs: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Spoon small mounds of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 mins and then reduce temperature and bake for another 20 mins. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 mins. Poke a hole in the bottom (with a skewer and transfer to a cooling rack.
  4. Prepare the pastry cream. While the puffs are cooling. whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk. Blend yolks into the mixture, stirring until smooth. Prepare an ice bath (a very large bowl filled with ice & water – it should be a bowl that the sauce pan you are using does not quite fit in). Combine remaining milk (1 1/2 cups), salt and sugar (1/2 cup) in a medium sized sauce pan (non-reactive is ideal). Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Temper the egg mixture with about 1/3 of the hot milk (you have to whisk constantly – you do not want to cook the eggs unevenly) Add egg mixture to remaining milk mixture and return the pan to the heat. Continue to cook over medium heat, vigorously stirring with a whisk until the mixture boils and a trail forms after the whisk, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer pan to the ice bath and stir occasionally until the pastry cream is cool.
  5. Assemble the puffs. Once everything is cool, slice the top third off of your puffs and pipe in the pastry cream. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Replace tops and drizzle with white chocolate. Share.
Notes

To cook by volume: use 1 cup of sifted flour. No tapping of the measuring cup. You want 4 ounces of flour, which is the average weight of a cup of cake flour. You want 7/8 cups of whole milk.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks so delicious. Bravo to the baker!

  2. Caneel says:

    I love anything with chai in it – these look fantastic. Yummm! 🙂

  3. Jenn says:

    Beautiful! Wonderful job on this month’s challenge, these look amazing!!

  4. Britt says:

    Beautiful! And chai pastry cream? I would like some now, please. 😉

  5. Tara says:

    Those cream puffs sound decadent! Chai whipped cream must be amazing, hard not to just eat with a spoon. 😉 Welcome to the Ratio Rally!

  6. Claire says:

    Welcome to the Ratio Rally! These look really tasty. I love all things chai-flavored – what a wonderful idea for your pate a choux!

  7. Erin Swing says:

    Yum! Nice work. Thank you for participating in this month’s difficult challenge! 😉

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