(This article appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
In this article we feature a Chocolate Éclair from Chef Richard Hawke. The pastry is completely gluten- and lactose-free, though you would never presume so by looking at it. According to Chef Hawke, “It’s a modern take on a French pastry classic. This version is lighter and features different textures, from the choux crunch to the chocolate plaquette on the top.”
Li Chu 64% Eclair
Yield: 20 servings
Cocoa Choux Crunch
- 110 g coconut oil
- 120 g brown rice flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 150 g raw sugar
- 25 g water
- Melt coconut oil to 86˚F (30˚C).
- Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 1.5 mm. Freeze until firm.
- Cut dough into 1.2” x 4.3” (3 cm x 11 cm) rectangles. Place on choux right before baking.
Chef’s notes: It’s important that the crunch is very thin in order to ensure a good development of the choux in the oven. Roll by hand and when you start to feel the thickness of the sugar, it should be nice and thin.
- 300 g water
- 5 g salt
- 10 g invert sugar or honey
- 120 g grapeseed oil
- 165 g brown rice flour
- 12 g cocoa powder
- 250 g eggs
- In a saucepan, combine brown rice flour and cocoa powder; set aside.
- In another saucepan, bring water, salt, invert sugar and grapeseed oil to a boil. Pour over brown rice flour mixture and dry mixture over low heat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
- Place dough in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix at low speed until 113˚F (45˚C). Gradually add eggs to form correct consistency.
- Transfer paste to a pastry bag fitted with a PF16 tip and pipe 4.3” (11 cm) lengths onto silicone mats. Freeze until firm.
- Place mat onto a Teflon baking tray. Slightly heat the tops of the eclairs before arranging the Cocoa Choux Crunch on each one. Bake at 350˚F (175˚C) for 30 minutes with a closed vent. Open vent and dry for 10 minutes.
Chef’s notes: Be careful with the consistency of this gluten-free choux – depending on the quality of the rice flour, the mixture will need more or less egg to be added. The consistency will not be as elastic as a classic choux pastry with flour. The final texture should be like a nice, pipeable ganache.
Li Chu 64% Water-Based Cream
- 365 g Weiss Li Chu 64% chocolate couverture
- 35 g grapeseed oil
- 16.5 g Sosa Natur Emul
- 685 g water
- Melt chocolate with oil to 104˚F (40˚C). Stir with Natur Emul and then add water. Emulsify with a hand blender and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.
Chef’s notes: This recipe isn’t as rich as a classic chocolate cream. The flavor of the chocolate is very distinct, as there is very little to hide its flavor.
- 300 g Weiss Galaxie Noir 67% chocolate couverture
- Melt the chocolate to 113˚F (45˚C) and temper.
- Spread tempered chocolate between two guitar sheets and cut out long oval plaquettes that are the same size as the eclairs. Pipe small dots of chocolate and stamp your imprint on them. Use cold spray and wipe quickly to remove any condensation. Allow to set.