If you’re in the G-F-er camp, chances are you’ve tried to recreated a glutenous favorite: Cream puffs. I can almost guarantee you failed miserably. My attempts involved complex rituals and flour concoctions in addition to the original method–one that is already tricky.
The result? Frustration and a lot of wasted ingredients.
But those days are over now.
I know the ingredient list is weird. But if you’ve been G-F for any length of time you know how cooking on a restricted diet pushes the kitchen limitations. These were originally going to be Boston Cream Pi Doughnuts. And yes, that was intentionally misspelled. I was going to celebrate Pi Day. Yes. With doughnuts. But the cheese did not fry into a suitable doughnut and it was an absolute oil sponge. The result was a crunchy yet gooey, ineffable, disgustingly greasy Thing. (Maybe I can compromise and call these Boston Cream Pi-fiteroles. Or is that too cheesy?)
So I went back to the baking method and settled for cream puffs instead. And they actually do taste like a doughnut. The cheese gives the rolls a gooey, soft, glutenous chew and a pleasantly ‘deep fried’ mouthfeel. And I am happy. I foresee lots of cheese rolls/cream puffs in my future. The future is bright.
The batter is very liquid, so I doubt piping these into an eclair shape would work. Try at your own risk. (Please share the results if you do!)
Gluten-free Cream Puffs
For the Pate a Faux:
2 c. tapioca starch
5 oz. mozzarella
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. oil
2 tsp. sugar
Preheat the oven to 375F°
Dump all the ingredients into the blender and mix away. (These are the easiest pastry you’ll ever make.)
Grease 12 regular muffin tins or 24 mini muffin tins. For large puffs, scoop 3 tablespoons. into each well. For little puffs, 2 tablespoons.
Bake small ones for 18-20 minutes, large for 20-22 minutes.
Cool on wire baking racks.
For the Pastry Cream:
2 c. milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl, then whisk in the cornstarch until pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. (Once it starts thickening don’t leave it on the heat too long or it will be too thick.) Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 2 hours.
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 c. cocoa powder + 1/4 c. melted coconut oil, whisked together
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. hot water
Melt the chocolate/whisk together cocoa and coconut oil. Add melted butter. Whisk in powdered sugar. The mixture will be chunky and thick. Add the hot water, 1 T. at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until the glaze is pourable.
To assemble, you can slice the puffs in half for easy filling, but you could also put the pastry cream in a piping bag and fill the puffs through a hole in the bottom or the side.
Top with the glaze.