have a confession to make. Embarrassingly, I couldn’t ride a bicycle until just a few years ago, believe it or not! I couldn’t hold the balance, and I was scared of falling. Who likes to fall on the tarmac? Not me! At the same time, my nephew (age 4) learned the skill in one afternoon and became the ruler of the nearby parking lot! Although I can ride the bike now, there is another type of wheels that I prefer much more – the sweet, cream-filled ones!
Paris-Brest is a ring made of choux pastry, usually filled with crème mousseline – which is a pastry cream enriched with butter. It was designed in 1910 by a pastry chef Louis Durand, who worked at pastry shop Maisons-Laffitte situated near Paris in 1910 at request of Pierre Giffard, to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race he had initiated in 1891. Shape of the pastry symbolizes the bicycle wheel. Although the original Paris-Brest recipe calls for basic creme patissiere, throughout more than 100 years, creme mousseline became more popular choice because of its creamier consistency.
My first sweet encounter with this elegant pastry was while I was studying at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. There were rumors in my school about a specific Paris-Brest that was allegedly THE best in Paris – “You must visit Jacques Genin“, they said! So I waited impatiently for the first Sunday, and after a light breakfast my friend and I headed for the 3rd arrondissement with great expectations. Pastry chef Jacques Genin is huge in pastry world – his exquisite assemble-upon-order millefeuille, delightful caramels, and awesome pates des fruits are treats not to be missed! Of course I wanted to try them all; however, not everything goes according to plan! They didn’t have millefeuille at the moment, but the Paris-Brest was ready, and I can tell you without doubt – the rumors were correct! The crispy choux topped with crunchy chopped hazelnuts, and filled with loads of luscious hazelnut mousseline was to die for! Mmmmhm, divine! Next time I’m in Paris, 133 Rue de Turenne will be my inevitable ‘sweet’ stop, along with many others…
So, if you have never made pâte à choux, take a glimpse at my post. You can also learn how to make crème pâtissière step by step, and you are ready to go!
by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry MaestraPRINT PDF (EN) ISPIŠI PDF (HR)
Prep. time : 30 minutes
Cook time : 35 minutes
Ready in 65 minutes
Level : AdvancedPâte à Choux
- Milk 125g (4.4oz)
- Water 125g (4.4oz)
- Butter 100g (3.5oz)
- Salt 5g (1Tsp)
- Sugar 5g (1Tsp)
- All purpose flour 150g (5.3oz)
- Eggs approximately 250g (8.8oz or 5 medium eggs)
- Milk 500g (2 cups)
- Egg yolks 100g (3.5oz or 5 medium egg yolks)
- Sugar 125g (4.4oz)
- All purpose flour 25g (1.5Tbsp)
- Corn starch 25g (1.5Tbsp)
- Vanilla powder to taste
- Hazelnut paste 100g (3.5oz)
- Butter 250g (8.8oz)
- Put milk, water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and cook until it boils.
- Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour.
- Put everything back on the stove and cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl and leave it to cool down a bit.
- Beat the eggs and add them gradually to the paste mixing well after each addition. The finished dough should be soft, smooth and creamy.
- Using a star tip, pipe the rings, brush them with egg wash, and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake Paris-Brest at 180°C-200°C (350°F-400°F) for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
- To make crème mousseline mix the milk, half of the sugar and vanilla powder in a large saucepan and heat it up.
- Blanch the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar, add sifted flour and cornstarch and whisk to combine.
- Temper the yolk mixture with approximately half of the heated milk. Return the yolk mixture to the pan, put it back on the stove and cook stirring vigorously until the cream boils and thickens. Allow pastry cream to boil for another 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Remove the pan from the stove, and immediately pour the cream into a clean bowl. Cover it by placing plastic wrap on the surface of the cream and leave it to cool down.
- When the cream is cold, whisk it until it becomes uniform and add the hazelnut paste.
- Add softened butter little by little until the cream becomes smooth.
- Cut cooled Paris-Brest in half. Generously pipe the cream on the bottom ring, and cover the cream with the top choux ring.
- Chill them in the fridge for a couple of hours, and before serving sprinkle them with some powdered sugar.
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I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!