Maybe it's my upcoming trip to Paris that had me thinking about eclairs, or maybe it was a post on Cupcakes and Cashmere a few weeks ago, but I got really stuck on making eclairs. It looked like a lot of work so I was debating my potential effort, when my husband saw a recipe on my computer screen - he was so excited that I was going to make them that I just had to do it the next day, crawling the internet to build a franken-inspiration of how I would make mine. Read on if you'd like to see what I did
Step One: The Custard
After reading many recipes, I decided to make/adapt the custard filling recipe I originally saw on Cupcakes and Cashmere.
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup raw organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
Start by combining the milk and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Turn off heat and set to the side. Next, you will get your six egg yolks. Separating the yolks from the whites is an art form which I recently was able to sort out (ask my mom - I will still have her do it for me if I'm ever cooking at her house). You should be able to find a use for the egg whites (I did, post coming soon!), so put those to the side and focus on your yolks. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until nicely blended. Then add the cornstarch and whisk again until smooth. Take a 1/4 cup scoop of your hot milk/vanilla and whisk in to the egg mixture. Then add the remaining milk and whisk thoroughly. Once all is mixed well, back to the saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly with your whisk until it begins to bubble the thicken. Once it begins to thicken it will be thick seconds later so make sure you're paying attention! Once it's thickened, take off heat and stir in butter until melted. Then transfer to a bowl. Cover with saran wrap or wax paper. To ensure the custard does not grow a skin, ensure there is direct contact with whatever you are covering with (see my photo mine was covered with saran wrap). Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Step Two: Pastry
Now it's time to create the pastry! My recipe is adapted from The Glutenista's.
- 2 tbsp raw organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp pink himalayan sea salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup Water 1 GF Mix (2 parts white rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch, I keep this mix handy in a canister in my kitchen)
- 2 tbsp white rice flour OR GF Mix
- 3/4 tsp xanthum gum
- 4 eggs at room temperature
Step Three: Chocolate glaze
I used this recipe on forgiving martha as my inspiration:
- 1/3-1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I am guilty of not measuring)
- 1/4 cup 2% milk
- 1 tsp-ish corn syrup (again, guilty of not measuring).
Step Four: Put it All Together!
This is the best part! I started by putting a hearty helping of the custard on the bottom half of the pastry. Then, I took the top half and gave it a dip-and-roll in the glaze (dip from one side and roll to have a nice even glaze. I learned this in the donut shops). Then reunite the two half, put the top half on the bottom half you just put the custard on. And there you have a gluten free eclair!
I glazed all the pastries immediately, but held off putting the custard in until serving so they wouldn't go mushy. They were fantastic the first day. I recommend putting the custard freezing whatever you do not eat at the end of the day as on day two they were still good, but not as good as day one.
The result of all this work was one of the best eclairs I've ever had, and I rarely say this about anything that I actually make. The fact that it's gluten free and that delicious is a serious triumph. I'm really glad I put the effort into exploring different recipes and options to put together, now if you'd like to try to make them all you have to do is follow my lead.