Today marks 4 years since my coeliac diagnosis. It’s funny how the knowledge and awareness of coeliac disease and gluten free diets has grown so much in just the 4 years I have been actively conscious of it. This has had both a positive and negative effect. The positive is that more people are aware of it and there are becoming a lot more options for food when eating out and choices in the shops. On the negative, people now consider it a fad, which means some people think you are being picky when you say you need a gluten free diet, I’ve seen many a waiter eye roll or else people start a gluten free diet who are simply jumping on band wagon and loudly proclaim they too are eating gluten free but then tuck into the office birthday cake or enjoy a few beers down the pub. This gives a confusing message to people who don’t really understand and lessens the actual severity of ensuring foods are gluten free. On the whole it’s a positive progression though.
What better way to celebrate 4 years gluten free than with some delicious profiteroles inspired by my gluten free pastry course fromLeiths. I tweaked the recipe a bit from the one they gave us on the course, as the flour mix they used was a bought brand and I wanted to make my own. Also the recipe we used on the course were for super cheesy Gougères and I wanted a cheesless profiterole.
I have tried making gluten free choux pastry once before and it was a bit of a disaster, but fresh from my training I was willing to give them another go. I am so pleased I did as they turned out brilliantly (even if I do say so myself)!
To save on some arm muscles, I used a food mixer for part of the mixing method, but I think it may have been simpler to do it by hand – not to mention less washing up. I was worried my choux would either be doughy in the middle, or else not puff up, but they puffed and hollowed just as they should. They were very light and airy little puffs.
I am not a fan of plain cream, to me it’s just tasteless and a little greasy tasting, but flavour that cream with some creamy peanut butter and you are on to a winner. Top it off with some warm chocolate ganache and a sprinkling of peanut brittle and I quite happily devoured 5 in one sitting – don’t judge me, it was my first gluten free profiterole in 4 years!
The mix of light choux pastry, airy but creamy peanut butter filling and warm bitter chocolate ganache was divine. Peanut butter and dark chocolate are a match made in heaven and to have it all wrapped up within little treat of a dessert was delicious. I used a mix of ricotta and double cream for the filling, which resulted in a wonderful thick, almost moussy peanut butter cream. I can see many more profiteroles on the horizon!
Profiteroles with Peanut Butter Cream & Chocolate Ganache
50g rice flour
10g tapioca starch
¼ tsp xanthan gum
Peanut Butter Cream
150g ricotta cheese
150g double cream
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
100g dark chocolate
80g double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
Combine the 3 flours and xanthan gum together in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Place the water and butter into a medium sized pan and heat until the butter is melted. Bring the mixture to a simmer then remove from the heat and quickly add your flour mix in one go. Immediately start to beat the flour into the butter mixture, you need to work quickly and stir vigorously. Continue to beat it until the mix comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick dough. Keep beating until all lumps of flour are mixed in.
Then tip the dough out onto a plate and smooth out into an even layer. This helps cool it down quickly. (At this stage the dough is known as a ‘Panade’ a paste mixture of a soft dough).
Leave it to cool slightly for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C and line a tray with silicone paper.
Once the mix has cooled slightly, return it to the pan. Whisk the eggs together in a jug and pour this into the choux dough, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. The mix will go sloppy, greasy and slimy looking at each addition of egg – this is normal. Keep beating until it absorbs the egg and then add a little bit more. Continue this until you have a batter that reluctantly drops from the spatula when lifted. If it’s too thick and sticky to fall off without shaking, then you need to add a little more egg. You also don’t want it too sloppy and runny as you need to pipe it, so if you have particularly large eggs, you may not need all of it.
It’s a hard arm workout, but keep beating until you have a smooth sticky batter.
Scoop the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tube nozzle.
Pipe rounds of batter onto the baking tray, leaving an inch between each one. You want them to be about the size of a large walnut.
Dip your finger in water and dab the tops of the piped choux to flatten out any peaks formed from the piping bag.
Sprinkle a few drops of water all over the baking tray, as this will create steam in the oven which will help them rise.
Bake in the oven at 220C for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 150C and bake for a further 8-12 minutes until they are puffed, golden brown and lightly crisp to the touch.
Remove the choux buns from the oven, remove them from the baking tray and make a little hole in the base of each one to let the steam out. Cool them upside down so the steam can escape up out of the hole (or else they go soggy)
Make the cream by beating the peanut butter into the ricotta until smooth and well combined. Lightly whip the cream until its just beginning to thicken, then stir this through the ricotta mixture to make a mousse-like texture.
For the chocolate ganache, heat the chocolate, cream and golden syrup together in a small pan. Stir gradually until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Do not let it boil. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
To serve, either pipe or spoon the peanut butter cream into the choux buns (I like to pipe it in using the hole created in the bottom so they stay hole.) Then dip the top of each profiterole into the warm chocolate sauce and arrange on a plate. Roughly chop up some peanut brittle and sprinkle a little over the top of the profiteroles.
Best eaten on day of baking. Assemble just before eating as they will go soft if left to stand for too long.
Eat and enjoy.
Makes 16-18 profiteroles