Saturday, January 18, 2014

Profiteroles…I love you.

I'm not going to beat around the bush.  These are incredible.  Profiteroles are one of my favorite desserts of all time and I have a lot of favorites.  Normally, I am great with self control but before I make these I have to have a conversion with myself about not eating too many.  You must make these.  They are fluffy little pastry clouds of pure heaven.  It's such an elegant and enjoyable dessert and the best part is that it's easy - that's right…so easy and quicker than you would think.  The dough that is used with this dessert is called Pâte à Choux.  With using just a few ingredients this recipe employs a high moisture content to use steam during baking to puff the dough.  And it's exactly the same recipe that is used for éclairs and crouquembouches.  Not to mention that my kids LOVE them and it makes me so happy that I can make a gluten free pastry dough taste so good.  I've used vanilla ice cream in the picture above but you can also use pastry cream.  If it was just me, I would make the pastry cream but the kiddos love ice cream.  Add a little semi-sweet chocolate to the top et voila - you have a decadently delicious gluten free dessert.  Enjoy!

*In the next week or so I am going to post a video so you can see exactly how these are made.  Stay tuned ;)
*These can be made dairy free but unfortunately the egg is necessary.

La Recette:

1 cup water - room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 cup gluten free flour (regular all purpose flour can be used if you don't need gf)
4 extra large eggs - room temperature
Good quality vanilla ice cream - I usually use one generous scoop but you can use as little or as much as you would like.  Quick tip: run the scooper under hot water for a few second and you get really nice round scoops.
8 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate
Egg wash - 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water.  Beat well.
*I recommend enjoying with an espresso.

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.*
-In a medium saucepan, heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter until well combined.  Stirring continuously until the butter is melted.
-Remove from heat and dump in the cup of gluten free flour and stir vigorously until the flour is incorporated and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
-Let the dough cool for 2-3 minutes and then slowly add in the eggs one by one and mix vigorously until the mixture is cool.
-Using a spoon or a pastry bag scoop the dough onto the baking sheet.  The pastry bag is fancier but I find that a spoon works just fine.  You can play with the size but I like a medium sized puff and the size I like yields about 10 cream puffs.  You can definitely make  them smaller or a little larger but I wouldn't make less than 8.  You may need two baking sheets.  You'll want the dough mounds to be about two inched apart.
-Brush the dough with the egg glaze.
-Bake for about 35 minutes until puffed and browned.  Make sure that you don't under bake.  If you under bake, your puffs will deflate to pancakes.  If you feel that they are getting to brown at the end of baking, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
-Let them cool to room temperature and gently cut off the top 1/3.
-Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the larger portion and put the top 1/3 of the puff on top of the ice cream.
-To melt the chocolate, place it in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds - take it out and stir.  Repeat this process until the chocolate in melted.  Most likely 3-4 times.
-Scoop a tablespoon of chocolate on the top of the cream puff and serve immediately.  If there is any left over chocolate you can garnish to taste.
-The puffs can be stored at room temperature in an air tight container up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month.

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