Light pastry filled with cream and topped with chocolate, profiteroles and eclairs are a joy for many, but can they be safely eaten when you have gestational diabetes without causing high spikes in blood glucose levels? Well you can now with my wheat flour and sugar free profiteroles!
Traditional profiteroles and eclairs are made with choux pastry which is made from refined white flour. They also contain sugar and so they aren’t the best choice for anyone needing to follow a low carb diet.
However these low carb profiteroles are made from ground almonds which are packed with protein and natural fats which help to pair the carbs in the chocolate topping meaning blood glucose levels remain lower and more stabilised!
I will say now, please do not expect these profiteroles to puff up into little round balls with hollow middles like normal choux pastry profiteroles because using these ingredients they just won’t. They will be like little domes with flat bottoms! However for a low carb choux pastry alternative, I think these work pretty well!
This recipe uses a product called xanthan gum. This product is available to purchase in most larger supermarkets and is often found in the ‘free from grocery’ section. It is an important ingredient in this recipe and should not be missed as it helps the structure of the choux pastry. The brand of xanthan gum I use is Dove’s Farm and it costs around £3.00 for 100g tub.
This recipe also uses ground arrowroot powder. This can also be bought in most larger supermarkets from the brand Dr. Oetker. It is usually found in the baking aisle. You can purchase larger quantities online and it is a handy ingredient for thickening and binding, however should only be used in very small amounts as it is quite high in carbs. It is used in this recipe to help the create a lighter choux pastry.
These profiteroles/eclairs are best prepared and eaten the same day. As the are filled with fresh cream they will only last 2-3 days if kept in the fridge and the pastry can go soggy. I have not tried freezing these
If your ground almonds are quite course, then this recipe really benefits from popping the ground almonds into a food processor to blitz them down to a finer texture. If you don't have the equipment to do this do not worry though. Start by combing the ground almonds, xanthan gum, ground arrowroot powder and sweetener in a bowl, mixing to remove any clumps
Add the water and butter to a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat to melt the butter and bring to a boil
Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the ground almond mixture and stir vigorously to combine and pull together. The dough should start to form and pull away from the edges of the pan when stirring
Continue beating until the dough is cool enough to touch and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well to combine each one before adding the next
Don't worry if the dough looks lumpy or split, keep beating and it will come back together to form a wet dough ball
Spoon or pipe the dough onto a lined baking tray (it will be slightly runny and will spread slightly, so leave a large enough gap between each one so that they don't touch) and using wet fingers, push gently around the edges and on top to form round profiteroles (or you can make longer eclairs if you prefer). The water will help create a more shiny pastry on top too. Flick more water with your fingers across the baking tray as this will help create steam in the oven and helps the cooking of the pastry
Place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until they puff up slightly and look golden on top. When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature
As these profiteroles are not hollow like normal choux pastry, they need to be sliced in half to create a profiterole or eclair that can be filled
When the profiteroles are completely cooled they can then be filled (if you try to do this when they are warm, the cream will melt and run out). Add the double cream to a bowl and whisk using an electric hand whisk for a few minutes until it forms a thick pipeable consistency. This can also be whisked by hand but takes much much longer (and strong arms!)
The whipped cream can be spooned into the profiteroles/eclairs. or you can pipe it on using a piping bag and nozzle
For the topping, break the chocolate into small pieces and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst until the chocolate is fully melted (do not microwave for too long in one go or you may burn your chocolate). Chocolate can also be melted in a bowl over hot water if you do not have a microwave. Once the chocolate is fully melted, allow it to sit a room temperature for a little while so that it thickens to the consistency you would like. You can then drizzle, pipe or spoon the chocolate on top of each profiterole/eclair
The ground almonds in this recipe cannot be substituted for coconut flour - these two ingredients work very differently in baking.
If you use any dark chocolate over 70% cocoa content you may find the chocolate too strong or bitter (unless you are used to high cocoa content chocolate). Although the higher the cocoa content, the less sugar the chocolate has, this recipe is extremely well paired with the ingredients used and so a lower cocoa content chocolate CAN be used. Milk chocolate can also be used in this recipe if you prefer milk chocolate to dark, however this will increase the carb content meaning the profiteroles/eclairs could benefit from some extra pairing if you choose to do this.
You do not have to use any sweeteners in this recipe if you do not wish to, however this means that the only sweetness comes from the chocolate and the almonds (which for a majority is not going to be sweet enough).
The brand of xylitol natural sweetener that I use and is most widely available in larger supermarkets is Total Sweet. To find a local stockist, please check this link. It is important to note that xylitol, although a natural sweetener, is highly toxic to dogs, so no sharing your GD treats with your furry friends!
Erythritol sweeteners are what I recommend using in this recipe if you struggle with IBS or gastric issues. Whilst xylitol is fine for most if eaten in small amounts, those who have any gastric conditions may find that xylitol can trigger their symptoms. The brand of erythritol I use is NKD Living powdered erythritol.
Artificial powdered sweeteners such as sucralose (like Splenda) or aspartame (like Canderel) can be used in this recipe but they can leave a nasty bitter aftertaste.
For the best outcomes with this recipe it is best to use the ingredients recommended and in the quantities stated.
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