Saturday 2 June 2012

GF Éclairs with Raspberry Crème Patisserie & White Chocolate - perfect for the Jubilee

I’m not doing anything special for the Jubilee, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a few red, white and blue themed treats to share with the family. I decided I wanted to try making some gluten free éclairs, something I have been putting off attempting for several months, as I was really unsure how they would turn out. I’d heard reports that some people had made some quite successful GF choux pastry and decided it was time I gave it a go myself.

I wanted to do something a bit different to traditional éclairs and so made a raspberry crème patisserie for the filling which I infused with Chambord, a fabulous French black raspberry liqueur combined with notes of citrus peel, honey and vanilla. I love its ruby red colour. I also added some good quality raspberry conserve for added flavour. This is richer, creamier and oh so much more indulgent than simply filling with some whipped cream, but it’s defiantly worth the extra effort for a special occasion. I could have (and did) eaten quite a bit of it by the spoonful – quality testing of course.

For decoration I wanted to tray and replicate the English flag, but thought this would probably be a little difficult to do on top of an éclair. Instead I simply coated the tops with melted white chocolate, piped on alternating lines of red and blue icing and then lightly dragged a cocktail stick through the lines to create a feather effect. This worked well and I loved the result with its curves of red, white and blue.

For some reason my choux pastry batter turned out a little too soft, meaning I had to add extra flour, which then created a few lumps in the batter. Drat. I carried on regardless and the resulting little choux pastry éclairs were quite tasty, if not perfectly formed. They did puff slightly in the oven and create the desired little hollows in the centre, but the space was not big enough to fill generously with the crème patisserie.. No one wants a stingy filled éclair and so I simply sandwiched two éclairs together, which allowed lots of delicious creamy filling. Crisis averted!

They looked so pretty set out on their plates. The GF buns themselves were fine, a little thick perhaps as they didn’t rise as they should have, but by no means gummy or gritty. The raspberry crème patisserie was divine, so indulgent and yet surprisingly light and airy. It wasn’t overly sweet, which I liked and is definitely worth the extra effort. The top coating of white chocolate added a nice hit of sweetness and went well with the raspberry filling. All in all delicious, although I need to work on my GF choux pastry. I used to make them all the time before having to go GF. Anyone have any GF choux tips?

Whatever you’re doing – I hope you have a wonderful Jubilee weekend!

GF Éclairs with Raspberry Crème Patisserie & White Chocolate
Pate a Choux
150 ml water
60g unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
10g caster sugar
100g gluten free plain flour
3 eggs

MethodPreheat the oven to 220C. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon paper.
Combine the water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stir occasionally. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour in the flour. Immediately beat vigorously to incorporate the flour and prevent lumps from forming until it forms a thick dough.
Return the dough to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer to a bowl and beat for 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg and beat in well. The dough will break up into lumps and look shiny, but this is normal. Keep beating and it will come back together.
Repeat the process until you have incorporated all the eggs.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe the choux about 1 inch-part on the baking sheets. Pipe out a short, fairly fat line of choux, about 2 inches long.
Spray a fine mist of water over the whole tray before placing in the oven. (The steam helps them puff up before a crust can form)
Bake at 220C for 10 minutes, until lightly golden.
Lower the temperature to 180C and continue baking until browned and dry, about 15 minutes more. The lower second tray may need a couple of minutes longer. Transfer to a cooling wire to cool.
Store in an airtight box until required.
Makes about 20-24 éclairs

Crème Patisserie
250ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
15g cornflour
50g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
30g unsalted butter
200ml double cream
1 tbsp Chambord (Black raspberry liqueur)
2 tbsp raspberry conserve
Tiny amount pink food gel

Pour the milk into a sauce pan and heat until steaming and near to boiling point.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together. When the milk is ready, gently and slowly pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring constantly. Do not let it boil.
Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
Cover the cream with clingfilm, pressing it directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge until completely cold.
When cold, whisk the cream until it forms stiff peaks, add the raspberry liqueur and whisk again to combine. Fold the cream into the pastry cream and beat in the raspberry conserve. Add a tiny pinprick of pink food gel to give it a pink blush, don’t overdo it though as you want it to look natural.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Decorate
80g white chocolate
2 x 40g icing sugar
Red and blue food dye

Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl.
Divide the icing sugar into two separate small bowls. Mix into a stiff glace icing using 2 drops of water.
Colour each of the icings with red and blue food dye.
Place the dyed icings into small paper piping bags, made from rolled squares of greaseproof paper. Cut the ends off to create a small piping hole.
Coat the top of the éclairs with the melted white chocolate. Immediately pipe on alternating colours of the red and blue icings, in thin lines across the width of the éclair.
While everything is still soft, drag the point of a cocktail stick down the length of the éclair and up the other side, to create a feather effect.
Leave to set before filling with the raspberry crème patisserie and eating.


Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

What a fantastic idea! these are so beautiful! I'm not a big eclairs fan myself but I would definitely love one filled with raspberry creme inside - that sounds so delish! I love your blue and red Jubilee spirit decorations! so festive!

Unknown said...

Wow, I have never heard of anyone trying to make a gluten free eclair or puff pastry of some kind.Quite frankly it never crossed my mind that it was possible.This is kinda neat :) aAnd your eclairs look so cute and festive with the red white and blue zig-zag stripes :)

Suelle said...

These look really pretty! Well done for persevering with your gluten-free cooking - choux pastry is difficult at the best of times.

Caroline said...

They look great! I've never even attempted choux with gluten let alone without! I love your feathered effect - very pretty.

Hope you have a lovely BH weekend.

Johanna GGG said...

I had an eclair last week at a function and it was dire - I am sure I would have preferred one of your fancy ones. And I love the jubilee icing - very elegant

The Caked Crusader said...

It doesn't get any better than patriotic eclairs - and I love chambord too!

Joy Johnson said...

Wow, those pics are making me hungry! I'll have to give your recipe a try... :)

Joy Johnson

Thomas Green said...

That is rich! And how easy the way you explained it! Very good work .. I love your recipes .. Congratulations!