Chocolate Banana Custard Éclairs, Gluten-Free

Chocolate Banana Custard Éclairs, Gluten-Free

Nothing much makes me happier than an éclair or pâte à choux on my dessert plate. These éclairs filled with coconut caramel banana pudding (custard) topped with chocolate made me ridiculously giddy (although it could be the sugar). And they are easy enough to make at home without breaking a sweat. I swear.

The pâte à choux dough is piped into long fingers for éclairs. Once baked, you can slice off the top (think caps) or pipe the pudding filling right into the side. Finish with a drizzle or a generous flood of chocolate ganache on the top and you have a fabulous dessert.

For a great tutorial on all things pâte à choux, you will want to review these posts here and here. For the coconut caramel banana pudding (custard) please follow the directions from this post here.

One recipe will make about 8 éclairs, enough to feed a small village.  That is, if you are so inclined to share. Sometimes around here we have to make a second batch because a few someones were taste-testing too enthusiastically.

You can actually fill these with any pudding or custard you wish, even the store-bought kind (Kozy Shack was GF last I looked).  The éclairs can be made a day ahead and store them (without filling) in a covered container. To crisp the éclair shell if they feel slightly damp, pop them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature again before filling. Store in the refrigerator once they’re filled.  They will get soggy if stored overnight so serve them the same day.

You can make all the components ahead and assemble it in no time at all on serving day. A great do-ahead dessert. If you can wait that long.

 

Chocolate Banana Custard Éclairs, Gluten-Free
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Ingredients
Éclair
  • 4.75 ounces gluten-free flour (1 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 1 oz. superfine white rice flour,1 oz. GF oat flour, 1.75 oz. of tapioca starch) (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2.75 ounces or scant ⅓ cup of unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) of whole milk
  • 8 oz. or 4 large whole eggs, room temperature (important)
  • or use your own favorite pudding or custard
Ganache
  • 6 oz. (about ¾ cup) heavy cream, heated to a simmer
  • 16 oz. mixed bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
Instructions
Éclair
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  2. Weigh out flours and mix with sugar and salt, whisk to mix, and set aside.If the eggs are cold, place in a large glass measuring cup or bowl with warm (not hot) water to come to room temperature – about 2 minutes. Don’t use cold eggs! Crack them into a small bowl and set aside. In a medium tall, heavy-bottom saucepan heat the milk and butter until it comes to a low boil. With a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture all at once and stir like crazy. Keep stirring until your arm feels like it is going to fall off. The mixture will go from oh-oh to phew – (ok-it’s-working) pretty quickly. It will smooth out into a smooshy ball and start to cook – there will be a filmy layer on the bottom. That’s ok, just don’t let it burn – turn down the heat. Cook for about a minute or two until it all comes together and the spoon leaves an impression in the dough when pressed. The color will (or should) still be boring beige. Keep stirring though your arm feels numb by now. Remove from the burner and set somewhere to cool for just two minutes. Place the dough ball in the bowl of stand mixer. On low to medium speed, mix in one egg at a time until fully incorporated. At first it will look like egg smear, but keep going. It will work itself in but it takes time. Keep doing that until the eggs are used up. Make sure that last one is really incorporated and give it one more stir.
  3. Using a ½ inch tip place the choux dough into a piping bag. If you don’t have tips or piping bags, a ziplock will do. Place the dough in the bag and cut a tiny slit in one corner- about ¼ inch. Less is more. You can always make the opening bigger. Pipe a tiny rope about 3 inches long and ½ and inch wide – they will puff up. Give them a little space in between. You will probably get them all on one parchment lined baking sheet but have a 2nd standing by because you don’t want to crowd them too much.
  4. Right before tossing the pans in the oven, using your fingers, rain a little water on them and baking sheet – just a few raindrops – don’t drown them – and place in the oven.Time for about 13 minutes. When the timer goes off don’t open the oven! Just pop the temperature down to 350 and continue baking for about 20-25 minutes more or until they are almost just too brown. That’s when you know they are done. Remove from the oven and place each eclair on a baking rack to cool. Poke a hole with a toothpick to let the steam escape while cooling. I do it on the top where it will be covered with chocolate later. Cool thoroughly.
Coconut Caramel Banana Pudding
  1. prepare according to directions
Ganache
  1. Heat the cream until it simmers. In a heat proof glass bowl or container weigh the chocolate. Pour the simmering cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes without stirring. Then stir very gently to incorporate the chocolate with the cream, but not to whip any air into it. Add the butter and stir in. Add the vanilla flavoring and stir. Let the mixture set until slightly cool but it still can pour. It usually is ready in about 20 minutes for me. It depends on the temperature in your kitchen. It can take longer. Be patient.
Assembly
  1. You can pipe the filling into the éclairs through the sides or slice off some of the top (like a cap) and spoon in the filling. Replace the cap. Drizzle the chocolate on top until you are happy. Best eaten right after assembly, though you can put them together a few hours ahead and refrigerate. Bring to slight room temperature before serving. Giddy, right?

Comments

  1. Wow, these look PERFECT!!! Yummy filling and the choux pastry looks like a dream, great job!! I really need to tackle choux pastry again after my failed attempts during the ratio rally…

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Jenn! Choux is pretty easy – but I’ve had my share of choux flops, too. Especially when I had to redo them GF. But let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out for you.

  2. Beautiful Eclairs, Lisa! Interesting, I always used and read water instead of milk…I will definitely try the milk next time! :)

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Jeanine. Pretty sure the milk helps somewhat with the rise (protein) and browning. Let me know how it works when you get to making them. Good to see you and thanks!

      • Milk! Definitely milk! Not water, or they won’t be nearly as tender. And it would be a big missed-flavor-adding opportunity.

        These look beautiful, Lisa. Some of my favorites. I wouldn’t be sharing. Most things, I give away. Some things, I do not share well at all. There are very few things that fall into that category, but my children know what they are. It’s “mother,” not “martyr,” I try to explain.

        Nicole

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Fortunately, we didn’t have to share. And since we test multiple times… What does it say about us that I could make these again today and we’d still eat them. All. Oh boy. But yep, most stuff we give away, but not these.

  3. I spent several years living in Brussels and ate my weight weekly in chocolate eclairs (before Celiac). Oh the deliciousness! I might have to try these. I’m drooling!!!!

  4. You’re a genius! I know what I’m doing this weekend.

  5. this is a lovely idea!! they look amazing and I can’t wait to try them

  6. I love banana anything. These look so rich and creamy! yum…

  7. Looks AMAZING!!!! Any advice for substituting the oat flour?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thank you, Claire. Use whatever GF flour mix or any other flour you like or have on hand. Just make sure you include some starch and stick to the total GF flour weight in the recipe.

  8. I absolutely love the look of these chocolate eclairs! I reckon I could eat a whole tray of them!

  9. These look like they came right out a bakery! Perfect. I actually have an eclair recipe on my to-make list, but I really like your banana pudding filling! Great idea. :)

  10. cristina says:

    i tried your recipe and ran into a bit of a problem. when i piped the dough on the baking sheet, it didn’t hold it’s shape. right before i put the tray in the oven, it looked like i had more like 8 puddles than eclairs wanna-be. any suggestions about what i could be doing wrong? thanks and i’ll keep trying. i feel eclairs are worth the effort :). congrats on your website also, it’s awesome!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Cristina. If you can give me more information I might be able to help. First, though I recommend going through the recipe like a check-list. Check your ingredients against what is in the recipe. Did you use the same stuff? Any substitutes? Amounts? And then check all the steps of the recipe and review your preparation and see if there are any differences. Let me know and I’ll be glad to go through it with you. And yep. Eclairs are totally worth it!

      • I had the same problem. Puddles! I cooked them, and they stayed flat. I even tried the second time to put the dough in the freezer first to try and make them keep the shape. Then in the oven, they turned into puddles and stayed flat! I tried two different times and I weighed the flours (I did not measure). Here is what I did (I doubled the recipe): 2 oz. brown rice flour, 2 oz. sweet rice flour, 2 oz. sorghum flour, 3.5 oz. of tapioca starch. For milk, I made milk from skim milk powder, and used extra to make it more like whole milk. Totaled the liquid of milk to 2 cups. And as for the eggs, I used 6 of them. It was getting really liquidy, so I stopped.

        Then I tried a second time, this time 1 batch (I thought maybe the sweet rice flour screwed something up): 2 oz. brown rice flour, 1 oz. sorghum flour, 1.75 oz. of tapioca starch. Used 2 eggs, pretty liquidy. I put the dough in the freezer longer, still no good!

        I can’t even fill these, they are SO flat. :(

        I made these a couple of weeks ago, and they poofed okay. I tripled the recipe: 3 oz. superfine brown rice flour, 3 oz. sweet rice flour,3 oz. oat flour, 5.25 oz. of tapioca starch. I also used less eggs (there was supposed to be 12, but I used 10 I think). I also put it in the freezer, because it seemed liquidy.

        Is it maybe the oat flour? Maybe that’s why it turned out better a couple of weeks ago? Even then it was still pretty liquidy. What am I doing wrong? Please help!!!

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Sarah – So glad you are measuring by weight. But a couple of things that might help. First, try the recipe as written, making a single batch, using exactly the same ingredients, including the flours, whole milk, butter and all four eggs. The trick is that the eggs must be room temperature when they are mixed into the batter. Also, mix them one at a time until it looks like the egg has disappeared. The batter won’t work if the eggs are not mixed in this way. Also, be sure to cook the flour with the butter and milk in the saucepan for a full two minutes on as low as you can get the burner. It will leave a film on the bottom of the pan. Then move the batter to the mixer and mix in the eggs.

        There is a big difference between powdered milk and whole milk and no matter how much powdered stuff you add, it’ll still be missing the fat from whole milk which is important in a pastry like this.

        When you pipe them onto the baking sheet they will hold their shape and then once they are in the oven they will rise even more.

        And last, unless you have a huge powerful mixer (even the 7 quart kitchen aid is probably not going to do a great job) – making a double or triple batch will be pretty hard. Try just mixing a single batch up 2 or 3 times. That’s exactly how I do it. Many recipes don’t double easily. I’ve learned that the hard way quite a few times.

        Also, yes to what you said about the sweet white rice (actually and the sorghum). Sweet white is good for softening up a baked good – this one doesn’t need soft. Both sorghum and sweet white are going to weigh something different (see the tab at the top of the page About Flours to tell you about the different weights for different flours).

        Hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

  11. How long you can keep them? I am making the shells today but intend to fill them on sunday morning for a brunch… I hope it works!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Sizi – keep them in a large cookie tin or just wrapped gently (but well) in foil, but not plastic. They’ll get damp in plastic. First thing Sunday, place them on a baking sheet and put them in a 300 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes or so just to refresh them. Let them cool and fill. They’ll be like new. I make them in advance all the time and do the quick refresh and it works well. Enjoy!

  12. Any chance these could be made dairy free as well? I love, love, love eclairs, but my son can’t have dairy, and I’m afraid of what I would look like if I had to eat them all. ;) Beautiful eclairs, BTW!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Jennifer. Thank you! The choux pastry has a lot of dairy in it. Not sure how it could be made dairy free, but I bet if you do a Google search there might be one. I’ve not made it without dairy, so I can’t tell you if it would work.

  13. We made these and they tasted wonderful, but my pastry came out more like a cookie–as if they didn’t puff up enough. I did use Bon’s red mill all purpose flour with a touch if Xantham gum instead of starch…do you think that could be the problem, or am I over-cooking them?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Sandy – yes, that is most likely the problem. Bob’s AP flour is not a flour I recommend for baking because those bean flour flavors will absolutely change the final product and make it taste, well, like beans. Also, no need for x-gum but you do need some starch in the mix. The recipe was tested using the flours listed, and while I prefer superfine flours, Bob’s brown, white, tapioca and oat flours will work. Be sure to work in the eggs until they disappear, one at a time. And don’t open the oven door until they are finished baking – over baking them will only make them crispy – it won’t make them fall. And they tend to puff up during the last part of their baking time. Hope that helps.

  14. This looks so yummy! What’s the calorie count?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Undoubtedly a lot. We don’t do nutrition breakdowns, Ashley. But there are tools you can use available on the web to do that.

  15. The recipe section is all screwed up. I can’t read it and I’ve tried Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. It gets cut off in the middle of the instructions, and there’s also an ad of “You may also like” in the middle of the instructions as well. I don’t know why. i used this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it read just fine.

    • That’s weird. After I commented, everything showed up fine.

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Yep. An update to some of the code messed it up temporarily but it should be reading fine now. The recipe print function should be fixed soon, but it can be read. So sorry about that.

  16. Looks amazing and so easy! Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Okay, I know I’ve shared several recipes, but I couldn’t resist sharing an Éclairs recipe! http://glutenfreecanteen.com/2012/03/07/chocolate-banana-custard-eclairs-gluten-free/ [...]

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