Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Draft Cider, Saffron, & Chive Gourgères

Maybe it has to do with not having anything to occupy my thoughts aside from what is going on at home day to day, but I’ve been considering my holistic lifestyle as of late. Meaning, I wondered how I came to be gluten free, a standard of living that led to other variants of food-related health I follow. Just how did I end up becoming gluten free? Why was it so easy to follow? Could I, rather, would I ever go back to the “White Bread Diet”?

My Creative Mind is quite the philosopher when it wants to be.

Let us consider the WBD for a moment, if you please. As a kid, I was quite the picky eater. I didn’t like pancakes doused in syrup or breads with visible seeds or grains. I didn’t like runny egg yolks, or eggs for that matter. I didn’t like the texture of oranges or tomatoes. I wasn’t a fan of rice. The majority of seafood was off limits. And don’t get me started on vegetables. Much of my focus was anything I could put in a sandwich or on top of a dinner roll or pasta. 

First time making them. They were slightly larger, and without the saffron.

The WBD also goes hand in hand with Adding White Sugar To Everything. When I was sick, and I often was, with terrible migraines and a tender stomach, sodas such as Ginger Ale or Coca Cola dulled the pain. Nasty tasting medicine tinctures were served with Breyers vanilla ice cream just so I would eat it without nausea forcing it back up again. There was a time I actually put white sugar on top of fruits for sweetness, when fruit juices were not 100%, when Slim Fast was an okay breakfast for all, and when high fructose corn syrup what the sweetener of choice.

It’s apparent that we’ve come a long way since then.

The WBD is the inhibitor diet, the diet that keeps you from truly tasting the wonders of the gastronomic universe. It keeps you in this tiny box where a particular cuisine or food type reigns supreme, where going out to an ethnic restaurant only to eat what you know you like is an adventure of epic proportions.

Out of necessity, this so-called restrictive lifestyle known as GF has broadened my palate and eating spectrum. It was a gateway lifestyle to a happy Morri, a healthy Morri that started to realize the infinite possibilities of her “limitations.” When I cut out refined sugars and pre-made gluten free products of old (Before the Lärabar, the Gluten Free Mall, and So Delicious Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream), I started to see exactly what I had been missing. I started making things from scratch, and developing a knack for it. I began craving for vegetables the eight-year-old me (heck, even the sixteen-year-old me) would have never eaten, or enjoyed eating them. The science and magic behind food and making recipes were always a mystery in my world BGF (before gluten free), and now I’m making things that most people feel they have to buy because they are so hard to make at home. 

The Gluten Free Ratio Rally (hosted by the amazing Erin of The Sensitive Epicure) has revolutionized gluten free baking since its beginnings earlier this year. It brings a number of wonderful people to make something of the same type with their own personal twist added to it. If you have a ratio for a particular food that you are familiar with, say pancakes or muffins or scones, you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand and make a remarkable dish. At the same time, if you are given a ratio to a food that you are unfamiliar with that up until now was a recipe left to the professionals in the culinary world, it is no longer impossible. It’s a challenge.

Before May of this year, I never thought I could make a pâte à choux recipe, even BGF. This eggy pastry dough can be made into savory starters or dessert delights, ranging from gnocchi and gourgère to churros and éclairs. It can be stuffed with soft fillings or topped with ganache or served by its delicious lonesome. It can be steamed, baked, boiled, and fried. This is the pastry of all pastries, one that is all elegance and not as hard to make as one would think, gluten free or not.

Draft Cider, Saffron, & Chive Gourgères

8 oz Newton’s Folly Authentic Draft Cider
4 oz Butter
1 oz Glutinous rice flour
1 oz Rice flour
1 oz Millet flour
1 oz Tapioca starch
8 oz Egg (around 5 eggs, with egg white removed)
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1/4 tsp. Saffron threads
1/3 c. (0.5 oz) Finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano
1/3 c. (1 oz) Finely grated Gruyère
0.25 oz (1/4 c.) Chives, thinly chopped

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In medium-sized pot, bring the hard cider, butter, saffron, and salt to a simmer over a high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour, and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon. (The flour will absorb the liquid quickly and a dough will form and pull away from the sides.)
Keep stirring to continue cooking the flour and cook off the liquid, about a minute or so.
Remove your pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, when you are able to touch the dough for an extended period but it is still warm to hot.
Add the eggs one at a time, stirring rapidly until each is combined into a paste.
Stir in the grated cheeses and chive after the eggs have been incorporated.
On a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, pipe or spoon out golf ball-sized portions (I used an icing bag for this).
Place the gourgères in the middle of the oven for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F to complete the cooking, about 10 – 15 minutes longer.
Taste or cut into one to judge the doneness of the pastries.
Before serving, you can fill the puffs with a soft cheese or a savory mousse.

Makes 24 – 28 gourgères. Can be served immediately or stored up to 48 hours in the fridge.

And don't forget to check out what the other lovely members of the Rally did with the pâte à choux ratio:

Amanda of Gluten Free Maui | Earl Grey Cream Puffs  
Amie of The Healthy Apple | Pate Choux with Creamy Macadamia Icing     
Britt of GF in the City | Pâte à Choux
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Savoury Paris-Brest
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Key Lime Cream Puffs
Charissa of Zest Bakery | Choux Shine: Koshi-an Filled Cream Puffs
Claire of Gluten Freedom |  Chocolate Eclairs
(Our amazing host!) Erin of The Sensitive Epicure | Gluten free gougeres filled with herbed goat cheese mousse | Churros y Chocolate Sin Gluten
Gretchen of kumquat | Cheddar Gougères with Dates and Pine Nuts | A Danish Puff
Irvin of Eat the Love | White Cheddar Gourgères stuffed with Porcini and Shallot Goat Cheese
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Gruyère & Herbed Gougères
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères
Mary Fran of Frannycakes | Marillenknodel with ginger and cardamom sugar & chai cream puffs
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan | Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)            
Meg of Gluten-Free Boulangerie | Chouquettes   
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   
Sea of Book of Yum | Rose Vanilla Cream Puffs and Vanilla Eclairs
Silvana of Silvana's Kitchen | Gluten-Free Spinach Gnocchi Parm
T.R.of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | Beignets
Tara of A Baking Life | Parmesan & Black Pepper Gougères | Frangipane Puffs


  1. What a wonderful idea to use hard cider as the liquid portion of the ratio! I'll bet it added a lovely complement to the cheese and chives. Nicely done!

  2. Why thank you, Tara. It did, and really made the pastry light and bubbly.