Sometimes, we all just need to treat ourselves. There are some desserts that instantly set a mood. They make you want to slow things down and savor each and every luxurious bite. These Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns” are exactly such a treat.
There’s just something special about cream puffs. A little crispy on the outside, tender and airy, with that decadent creamy center. These Choux au Craquelin take cream puffs to the next level.
All About the Texture
These Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns” are all about the texture. Unlike the cream puffs you’re probably most familiar with, these cream puffs have an additional layer and step that not only delivers a crinkly crispy exterior, but also even more flavor.
Traditional cream puffs are made up of two components, the dough, which is called choux pastry, or pâte à choux, and the pastry cream. These cream puffs add a third layer, the craquelin.
Unlike some doughs that utilize yeast to help them rise, choux uses a high moisture content to create steam. Water and Dairy Free butter are brought to a rapid boil before the flour, salt, and baking powder are mixed in.
The additional layer of craquelin is made from Gluten Free flour, hazelnut flour, brown sugar, and Dairy Free butter. After being mixed the dough is rolled out cut into rounds that are placed on top of the piped choux dough. As the puff pastries bake up in the oven the round disk helps keep their shape. It also provides that beautiful and impressive crackled effect.
For this recipe I am using Amoretti hazelnut flour. I love the ultra-fine sift free texture of this flour. Amoretti has something for all of your baking needs. From natural nut flours perfect for Gluten Free recipes to natural flavorings and extracts, and everything in between.
Breaking Down Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns”
Don’t be intimidated by the components of this dessert. I am going to walk you step by step through every aspect of these elegant confections.
- Pregame! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add your water and Dairy Free butter to a pot over medium heat and bring to a rapid boil. Stir in the dry ingredients. When a dough ball forms transfer them to a mixing bowl.
- With the mixer running add one egg at a time. Once incorporated place the dough into a piping bag.
- Pipe 2″ diameter rounds.
- Add all of the ingredients for your craquelin to a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
- Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Use a round cutter to cut out disks. Place them over your waiting cream puffs.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until they are a darker golden brown. Allow them to cool completely!
Creamy and Dreamy
- To make your Dairy Free pastry cream for your Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns” bring your oat milk and vanilla to a boil over medium heat.
- In a separate bowl whisk together your sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch. Add a ladle of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, continuously stirring. Add another ladle while you whisk. This is called tempering.
- Transfer the hot egg mixture back into the pot and continue to stir until the mixture has become thick, creamy, and luscious.
- Pour the thickened pastry cream to a glass bowl with both types of chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and incorporated. Allow the pastry cream to cool completely in the fridge before filling your cream puffs.
- To fill your Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns” simply poke a hole in them and using a pipe bag pipe in the pastry cream. It’s that easy!
Do you want more fun with choux pastry? Make sure you check out my recipe for Gluten Free Eclairs with Dairy Free Pastry Cream. Now let’s get baking!
Gluten and Dairy Free Cream Puff “Crack Buns”
- Mixing Bowl
- medium pot
- pastry bag
- Food Processor
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment paper
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup Dairy Free butter
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup Gluten Free 1.1 flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs, room temperature ;arge
- 1/4 cup hazelnut flour
- 1/4 cup Gluten Free 1.1 flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 5 tbsp Dairy Free butter
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 2 cups oat milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup Dairy Free dark or semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the water and butter to a pot on medium heat and bring to a rapid boil.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon and continue to stir until a dough ball forms.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl.
- Add one egg at a time, continually mixing until it's incorporated before adding the next one.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large tip and pipe 2" balls.
- Continue to the next step.
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until fully combined.
- Roll the dough out to approximately 1/8" thick.
- Using a round cutter, cut your disks 1 1/2 to 2" thick.
- Place on top of the cream puffs.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are dark golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely before filling with pastry cream.
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- Add the oat milk and vanilla to a stock pot and place over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- Once the oat milk mixture is boiling add a ladle full of the hot liquid to the egg mixture, stirring the entire time.
- Add another ladle full while stirring.
- Add the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture and continue to whisk until it thickens.
- Add both of the chocolates to a glass bowl.
- Pour the hot pastry cream into the glass bowl and continuously stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Transfer the chocolate pastry cream into a piping bag.
- Poke a hole in the cooled puff pastries and fill with the pastry cream.