This French classic is not only one of the best desserts, but did you know they’re also surprisingly easy to make at home? In fact it’s a wonder gluten free eclairs are so rare considering how simple they are! If all this time you’ve been missing eclairs and you too were under the impression that this delicacy is something you can only buy, then think again. It’s time to get cooking your own!
You can really play around with the flavours and create some amazing variations too. For example these mini eclairs with rose flavoured whipped cream, white chocolate icing and pistachios.
Basically eclairs are made in three steps: the pastry itself, the filling and the icing. The pastry is a basic blend of flour, butter, eggs, water and milk with a touch of sugar. For the filling, I often use whipped cream (as I did in this recipe), but another common option is pastry cream, a very thick form of vanilla custard. And for the icing there are a lot of alternatives out there, but nothing beats the ease and simplicity of melted chocolate and butter in my opinion.
Gluten Free Eclairs Recipe:
- 85g Schar plain flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 50g butter
- 75ml whole milk
- 75ml water
- 2 large eggs
- 150ml double cream/whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp icing sugar
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g chocolate chips
- 2 heaped tsp unsalted butter
220C (425F) for 10 mins
175C (350F) for 20-25 mins
20 mins sitting in the oven (door opened/heat turned off)
How to make the eclairs:
Make the dough:
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Mix the flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt together in a bowl and run through a sieve.
- Combine the water, milk and butter in a saucepan, turn the temperature up to medium/low and slowly melt the butter, stirring constantly. Then once you reach boiling point (a light boil), turn the heat off completely.
- Immediately add the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together. Then transfer it into a bowl and let it cool down (this step is important as we’re adding eggs next and we don’t want the heat to start cooking them).
- Once the dough has cooled down/is lukewarm, add the eggs and mix with a spoon or an electric hand mixer (with mixing paddle attachments; those ones that look like hooks, not the whisks) on low speed. Af first it will look lumpy and not at all like dough, but this is normal. Keep on mixing until smooth.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe the dough onto the baking tray, leaving enough space between each eclair to allow for a bit of spreading.
- Brush a generous amount of water over the eclairs and smooth any imperfections.
Bake the eclairs:
- Bake for 10 mins at 220C.
- Then lower the heat to 175C and cook for another 20 to 25 mins until the eclairs have turned a nice golden brown colour.
- Turn the heat off completely, open the oven door and let the eclairs sit in the oven until cool (for another 20 minutes or so). At this point you can also poke a hole on each end of the eclairs to allow for steam to come out.
- Once fully cooked and cooled, prepare your eclairs to be filled and iced. You can either poke holes on each end (I like to use a chopstick for this) to create space inside for the filling to be piped in or you can cut an opening straight across each eclair which allows for more filling and is a little easier. It’s up to you.
For the icing:
- Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave in 10 second instalments, stirring in between.
- Spoon the mixture onto the cooked eclairs.
For the filling:
- To make the whipped cream: combine double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix with a whisk or electric mixer until the cream stiffens.
- Add the whipped cream into a piping bag with nozzle of your choice and pipe it in.