Paris Brest Cupcakes
Paris Brest Cupcakes! Here’s a continuation of my obsession with French pastry making with these pastry cream-filled choux pastry delights!
My favorite thing…
My favorite thing about these cupcakes is how smooth the pastry cream is. It’s so rich and delicious, If you’re a fan of all things vanilla, this is perfect! It has such a rich vanilla flavor. The secret is using real vanilla and not any imitation products. I also love how light the choux pastry is. That’s one of the key things about a good choux pastry. More on that below!
What even is a Paris Brest?
Get your mind out of the gutter! haha. These cupcakes are everything that is glorious about France all rolled into one like neat pastry. This dessert was named after the route of a bicycle race that runs from the French capital: Paris to Brest, a naval town. Funny how food is named after things right? Like pavlova? But let’s not get into the debate of how that all started. Let’s just accept that New Zealand created it and that Australia happily adopted it!
What do Paris Brest Cupcakes taste like?
Vanilla bean cupcakes filled with French pastry cream topped with more pastry cream a choux pastry ring, dusted with powdered sugar.
Let’s talk French pastry cream.
Paris Brest Cupcakes! French pastry cream is really rich and smooth. It’s traditionally made with vanilla beans, but can be flavored too. In addition, my version is a little thicker than normal because I wanted to be able to pipe it.
What is choux?
Last but not least, choux pastry is a simple pastry that is commonly used for desserts like eclairs, profiteroles, and even Croquembouche! It’s really easy to make, and the thing that makes it famous is how much it puffs up and hollow it is for yummy desserts. It’s also really light and can also be used for savory entrés too. I’ve personally never tried it but I know that it can be filled with cheese which sounds super delicious and fancy!
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I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media. I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!
Paris Brest Cupcakes
- 3 1/2 cups cups plain all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups caster superfine sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups full-cream whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Powdered sugar to dust
Pastry Cream Frosting
- 2 cups of milk hot
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp gelatin powder
- 1 1/4 cups butter cut into cubes and cold
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut in to small pieces
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4-5 eggs
- 100 g flaked almonds optional
Pastry Cream Frosting
- Add gelatin to a mixing bowl. Pour 4 tbsp water over it. Give it a stir and set it aside to bloom and soak up the water.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the yolks, vanilla bean paste and the sugar and whisk until well combined and the mixture lightens in colour. Add the corn flour and plain flour and stir until mixture is smooth Add 1/3 of the hot milk and stir well. Then slowly add the rest of the milk while stirring
- Transfer to a medium sized saucepan and stir on medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes smooth. You should be able to run your finger along the back of the spoon and it will be thick enough to not come back together.
- Add the gelatin mixture to the hot custard and stir until it melts and dissolves completely, then add the cold butter cubes and stir until well combined.
- Transfer custard to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow it to completely set. Whip up again right before you’re ready to frost to get it to a nice smooth consistency.
- To make thin custard filling, microwave for 1 min, take about 1 cup of custard and add 175ml warm milk to it. Stir until well combined.
- Bring the water, butter, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
- Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and film forms on the bottom of the pan, around 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool for 5 min. Using a hand mixer or a wooden spoon add 1 egg to the pastry dough at a time, mixing well each time. When you get to the 4th egg test to see if the mixture is sticky enough to not break when you stretch it between two fingers. If it’s too dry, add the 5th egg.
- Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit the end of a piping bag with a 1cm round piping tip and pipe out small rings about 5-6cm in diameter. Use your fingers to brush the rings with an egg wash (1 egg and 2 tsp milk whisked together). Sprinkle with flaked almonds
- Place the unbaked choux pastry rings in the oven for 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 175C (320F) and bake until golden brown, for 25 more minutes. Take out the baked pastries and placed them on a wire rack to cool. Slice in half using a serrated knife.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
- Next, add milk, eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
- Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way (using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
- To put your cupcakes together core each cupcake and fill with thinned out custard. Add a small blob of pastry cream to the top of your cupcakes to help stick the bottom of each choux pastry ring.
- Fit the end of piping bag with a Wilton 6B tip and frost a swirl of pastry cream on top of each choux pastry ring. Sandwich with the top half. Dust with icing sugar.