When I first started living on my own, one of my favorite things to bake was cream puffs. It was a reasonably simple recipe involving eggs, water, butter and flour. I made cream puffs as a snack. Sometimes I put onion powder in the batter to make them like onion rolls. (Never onion salt since salt would stop it from poofing up.) I’ve since discovered that the dough for the cream puff recipe is the same as that used in French crullers, a kind of doughnut I love.
Now that I’m low-carb, the flour in the cream puffs are off-limits. So I sought a flour-substitute. On the internet I found a recipe for ‘Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix’ that might do the trick.
Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix
1 and 2/3 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
2/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder (sugar-free, low-carb brand), or plain whey protein powder
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
Mix ingredients well, store in airtight container at room temperature. 1/3 cup has 3.3 carbs, 14.3 protein, 10.3 g fate, and 162.9 calories.
So, I tried the recipe today. I made 1/3 of a batch to test it out. It turned out to be more of a batter than a dough using the low-carb flour substitute. And it didn’t poof out very much at all. Also, I probably should have baked it longer. I was worried it would burn since the mini-doughnut pan put the dough in smaller portions. (In the original cream puff recipe, 1/3 of a batch would be 2 cream puffs.)
Nissa’s Low-Carb Mini-Crullers
Just less than 3 tablespoons butter (2 T plus 1/2 T plus 1/3 T)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup flour substitute (Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix in this case)
Add butter to water in saucepan. When butter is melted, add flour-substitute all at once and stir vigorously until mixture no longer sticks to the sides of pan. (Doesn’t happen with the bake mix I used.) Remove from stove, cool slightly. Add egg and beat.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Put batter in mini-doughnut pan (available from Amazon.com). You could also use a muffin pan and make 2 cream puffs. Bake 20 minutes at 450 F, then reduce to 325 F and bake 20 more minutes. (I reduced the time to 10 min at each temp because of small size of mini-doughnuts.) Remove from baking sheet and cool, sprinkle with Splenda or other low-carb sweetener if desired.
So, that’s my current version of mini-crullers. In my next experiment I may try 1/2 baking mix and 1/2 vital wheat gluten to see if that will make it poof better. Also I think I filled the slots of the pan a touch too full. Next time I’ll try less.
I should note that even though the mini-crullers didn’t turn out quite like I hoped, I ate half the batch and am very tempted right now to finish off the rest instead of finishing this blog post. I should also note, for those who didn’t catch it— the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix contains vital wheat gluten and thus is NOT gluten-free, so if you have a health condition for which gluten is a problem, you’ll have to try something else.
This is the cookbook the original cream puff recipe came from. My mother got this cook book around 1947. She gave it to me around 1980. It’s my go-to cookbook when trying to cook weird things like lamb’s liver or salsify. I also used it to concoct a blintz recipe I posted earlier in this blog.
OTHER NEWS: Yesterday I started a new Facebook page called ‘Sci-Fi, Fantasy and the Christian Faith’. I thought it would be of interest to the many Christian sci-fi and fantasy authors I know and their fans. It’s at https://www.facebook.com/ChristianSFF2 if you are interested.
I’ve also started work on the first (I hope) novel in a series set on the planet Erileth (a planet I’ve been developing for years). Main character in this adventure is Niko Alden from the planet Terranova. He’s handsome, an interplanetary hero… and he’s Gay. His mission will be to establish a Terranovan base on Erileth, fight off spies and agents from the totalitarian Soviet government of Terraprima, and he’ll also be dealing with coming to faith in Christ. I figure this story should be kryptonite (or antimatter) to any publisher, Christian or secular, that I’ve ever heard of, so it’s probably going to be self-published. Which means I’m going to have to design my own sucky book cover.