Tuesday, May 31, 2011

16 Gluten Free Beignets

This past month has been quite an exciting food experiment with the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. The Gluten Free Ratio Rally is a group of gluten free bloggers who work together to figure out how to perfect various recipes without the use of traditional wheat flour. The common variable between all the experiments is the use of measuring ingredients by weight instead of volume. Read more about the effort in my post from last month, located here.
Designed by Anile Prakash
This month we worked together on quite the huge challenge - gluten free pate a choux. A basic pate a choux involves the process of cooking flour in liquid (similar to a roux) and then adding eggs and other flavors once its cooled. Once the pate a choux is baked, the paste puffs up and becomes light and airy. Pate a choux is a wonderful method of producing cream puffs, eclairs, and any other light pastry that you would normally fill.

For this challenge, I wanted to produce beignets, which are made either with a traditional yeast dough or based on a pate a choux (what most American beignets are based on). Beignets are light, airy fried pastries similar to doughnuts. They're most commonly dusted with powdered sugar or filled with fruit. In American culture, beignets were made famous by Cafe du Monde, a simply amazing and cultural restaurant in New Orleans. I traveled to Nola a few years back to volunteer in Katrina relief. I instantly fell in love with the culture and food of New Orleans, especially the Cafe Du Monde coffee and beignets. I wouldn't be surprised if half my diet was actually coffee and beignets while I was there...
It's snowing sugar! Coffee + gluten free beignets + powdered sugar = PURE BLISS (and a little bit of a sugar rush...)
Which leads me to my inspiration for this Ratio Rally, to try to create gluten free beignets that fulfill my need for some good old Louisiana culture. It took me three trials to create a good choux. The first trial was not starchy enough and quickly deflated once removed from the fryer. The second trial I modified my flour ratio a bit and experienced a bit of an improvement, but still had too wet of a dough. This led me to my current recipe, which held up the best structure and was not too wet. Let me know what you think, I'd love to continue to perfect the recipe!
Yields: ~25 medium beignets
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: ~3-4 minutes per beignet, approximately 30 minutes depending on the size of the fryer

210g water
114g butter
38g tapioca starch
38g brown rice flour
28g sweet (glutinous) rice flour
10g almond flour
227g egg
1.5 tbsp sugar
1. Preheat a deep fryer or deep pot of vegetable oil to 350F. There needs to be at least 2-3 inches of oil in the pot.
2. In a medium pot, add the water, butter, and sugar, and simmer on high heat. 
3. While the water simmers, measure the flour out into a small bowl, and measure your eggs and place them in another bowl.
4. Once the water mix is hot and about to start boiling, reduce to medium heat and add the flour. Vigorously stir the mix as it begins to turn into a paste. After the paste begins to pull away from the pot and forms a ball, continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes to remove more water from the paste.
5. Remove from heat and let the batter cool for a few minutes so the eggs don't scramble when added to the mix. I transferred mine to another bowl to assist in this.
6. Mix one egg at a time into the paste, adding the next egg only until the last has been combined. At first the paste will look as though it falls apart, but as more eggs are added it will come back together into a lighter dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes. (I've noticed refrigeration helps it maintain shape.)
7. By spoonfuls, carefully drop the choux into the hot oil.
My first few were oddly shaped, but the shape turned out better the more I made.
8. Flip after about 2 minutes, or until the side in the oil is golden brown. After flipping cook for another 2 minutes then remove and drain the oil on a plate with paper towels. 
9. When serving, stack the beignets on a plate and dust with powered sugar. 

Thanks to Erin Swing for hosting this month! This was a really difficult month, so thank you for all the time and advice you gave this month! Her Churros are located here, as well as her gougeres with herbed goat cheese mousse.

Along with the rest of the Gluten Free Ratio Rally:
Amie of The Healthy Apple | Pate Choux with Creamy Macadamia Icing           
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Savoury Paris-Brest
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Key Lime Cream Puffs
Claire of Gluten Freedom |  Chocolate Eclairs
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Gruyère & Herbed Gougères
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan | Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)             
Pete & Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem | Almond Choux Florentines
Rachel of The Crispy Cook | Cream Puffs Filled with Coffee Cream
Robyn of Chocswirl | Gruyere & Parmesan Gougeres with Sage & Thyme    
Silvana of Silvana's Kitchen | Gluten-Free Spinach Gnocchi Parm
Tara of A Baking Life | Parmesan & Black Pepper Gougères | Frangipane Puffs

I'd love any additional suggestions to further better the recipe! I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!


  1. YES!!

    and i love it at the top of the page, too!

  2. Yes! I was so excited after taking my first bite, tasted just like how I remembered them! It also didn't hurt that I used TONS of powdered sugar. Recipe's going up tomorrow AM, too tired to post it tonight.

  3. Yum! Those look absolutely amazing! Thanks so much for doing the hard (and delicious) yards in creating/sharing the recipe. :)

  4. Yeah! It was an interesting challenge for sure, but I love how they turned out!

  5. These look sooooo good! I miss Cafe du Monde beignets - and WILL be making these!

  6. Thanks! I'm definitely excited to make your key lime puffs.

  7. I'm so glad you tackled beignets. I was hoping someone would do some for this Rally. Bravo!

  8. Your beignets look so great!!! and I love the powdered sugar blowing in the wind hehe :)

  9. Thanks! The moment I heard pate a choux I had my heart set on beignets. I had tons of fun making them (and eating them, as you can see from the pictures...)

  10. These look yummy! I haven't had a beignet since I made them on the mini-stove in my college dorm 9 years ago...I think I know what my weekend project is!

  11. Wow! I'm impressed you were able to make them on a college mini-stove, I doubt I'd be able to! I tip my hat to you!

  12. Your beignets look great! I'm a sucker for fried food, but especially fried pastries. Yum.

  13. Thanks! I never really ate too moch fried food, but fried pastries and cheese I love!

  14. Nice post T.R. You didn't acknowledge me as this month's challenge, nor my posts for this month's challenge. :( I hope you did not find the challenge that unpleasant.

    Please note that this challenge was a group effort in the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally with an acknowledgment to the host and link to host blog &/or rest of participants to share the other incredible gluten-free creations for this & every month's challenge.
    -Erin of The Sensitive Epicure, hostess for the pate a choux challenge

    Nice work. Thank you for participating in this month's challenge. It was a doozy!

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