Paris-Brest. Invented to celebrate the famous cyclist race “Paris-Brest-Paris” is my number one French Patisserie. If you haven’t tried it before, I urge you to! You’ll find it in any good bakeries, and lucky you, it has made its comeback lately, and that couldn’t make me more happy!
I always had student jobs as a teenager. Because not only it was a good push from my parents, but also you got to have that latest Longchamps bag to look cool. And one of them in between others, was to work on Sunday at the local bakery, from 7.30am to 1pm. I was paid rather than nothing, but I would still spare a tenth of the well earned money on a Paris-Brest at the end of my shift! (Yes I still had to pay, even though that Patisserie was going to go to the bin at the end of the day – the owners were not my favourite people to work for!)
It is only when I came to London that I really had to learn how to make it though. And trust me, Choux pastry is a scary one! But if you follow that recipe, I promise you are going to be “Chouxessfull”! Also, another you are going to learn from this recipe, is the “why” Patisseries are an expensive thing. It does take a lot of love (and mostly time) to make these babies. Totally worth it though!
Waste tip for this recipe: keep the rest of the praliné in an airtight container in a dark cool place, and it will keep fresh just like any but butter. You can then use it to add some nuttiness to anything chocolate or berry like.
Quantity: For 6 normal size Paris Brest – or a Big one
- 150g of plain flour
- 80g of salted butter at room temperature
- 3 medium eggs
- 60ml tbsp of cold water
- 10g of sugar
Crème Patissière (Pastry cream)
- 250g of milk
- 1 egg
- 50g of salted butter
- 50g of demarera sugar
- 50g of butter
- 50g of flour
- 125g of blanched hazelnuts
- 125g of blanched almonds
- 200g of caster sugar
- 60ml of water
- 200g of butter
- roasted hazelnuts
1* Make the Choux Pastry: In a pan, add the water, butter and sugar. Heat for 5min on medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the flour all in one go and mix well. Let the mix steam and cool down for 10 min in its original pan.
2*Make the Craquelin: In the meantime, mix the butter, flour and sugar together to form a paste. Lay that paste onto one baking sheet and cover it up with another one. Use a rolling pin and roll that paste until it is very thin ( 1 or 2mm) and keep in the freezer to harden up.
3* Finish the Choux Pastry: Now the pastry has cooled down, pour the mix into a food processor. Turn the machine on medium speed, and crack the eggs in, one by one. Scoop the pastry with a spatula onto a piping bag with a nozzle.
4* Pipe the Choux onto a greaseproof paper, and make 6* 7cm circles. Take the craquelin out of the freezer, and cut 6 circles the same size as the choux, cover the choux with the thin craquelin circle. Sprinkle with some hazelnuts.
5* Bake for 20min at 200C and leave it to dry in the oven for another 10min after that.
6* Make the crème patissière: Pour the milk and half of the sugar into a pan, and bring to boil. In another bowl, whisk the egg and the rest of the sugar. Once hot, pour half of the milk onto the egg mix, and pour back onto the pan. Cook on medium heat for 4min until it gets thick and smooth. Pour onto a tray to cool down completely.
7*Make the praliné: In a pan, add the sugar and the water and bring to a temperature of 120C to make a syrup. Once the temperature is reached, add all of the nuts. Keep mixing gently for about 10min, the caramel will start to form, be careful not to leave it burn. Once cooked, pour over a grease proof paper to cool down completely.
8*Finish the praliné: Use a food processor to make the praliné. It will need a good 5 min and you will need to let it mix until you get the right pasty consistency. Keep aside.
9* Finish the Paris-Brest cream: The praliné and the crème patissière need to be at room temperature. Add the extra butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix for 5 min. Add the crème patissière and whisk for another 2 min. Finish with adding 100g of the praliné.
10* Assemble the Paris-Brest: Scoop the Paris-Brest cream onto a piping bag with a star nozzle and lengthly cut the choux circles in two. Pipe the cream onto one half of the choux, and cover with the other half. Sparkle with icing sugar, and decorate with some extra praliné and the roasted hazelnuts.