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Paris Brest

Classic Paris Brest (French Choux Pastry)

Serves 8

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Praline Paste

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup see notes
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts see notes
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds see notes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp bicarb soda

Pastry Cream

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk hot (see notes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed

Choux Pastry

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs see notes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened for buttercream portion

Decorations

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds


Instructions

Praline Paste

  • To a large saucepan, add the water, sugar, glucose syrup, toasted hazelnuts, almonds and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix on medium high speed until the mixture turns a deep golden colour, about 3 minutes. Add the bicarb soda and stir until well combined. Transfer to a well-oiled baking tray and spread out. Allow to set completely. Break into smaller pieces and place in a food processor. Process until the mixture turns to a smooth paste. You may need to stop the processor and scrape down the bowl to make sure it mixes properly. Set aside.

Pastry Cream

  • To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar and salt and mix using a mixing spoon. Add the egg yolks and mix until a paste forms. Add the milk a little at a time, mixing each time. Once a loose mixture forms, add the remaining milk and whisk until combined. Transfer to a large pot and stir on medium heat until mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla bean paste and half the cold butter and stir to combine. Then add the remaining butter and stir to combine.
  • Transfer to a large bowl with a sieve on top and pour the mixture into the sieve. Use a spatula or spoon to run through. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
  • To finish the pastry, add the praline paste to the pastry cream and mix until well combined.
  • Add the 1 cup of softened butter to a mixing bowl and beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the pastry cream a little at a time while the mix is on high speed. Once all of the mixture is combined together, set aside. When ready to use, use a spatula to stir until smooth. Add to a large piping bag with a large open star tip.

Choux Pastry

  • Preheat your oven to 190C / 325F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  • To a large saucepan, add the water, butter, salt and sugar and stir until mixture bubbles and butter melts. Take off the heat and add the flour. Mix using a wooden spoon immediately. Once the mixture forms a dough, place back on medium high heat and stir for about 4 minutes or until the dough begins sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • You can mix this dough by hand using a wooden spoon. I added mine to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. And began mixing on low speed for 30 seconds before adding the first egg. Allow the egg to mix in before adding the next egg. You may not need all 4 eggs. What you’re looking for is a shiny, glossy and smooth dough mixture that when stretched between two fingers, does not break. See notes below for more information.
  • Place the dough mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.
  • Place a round 6” cake tin or plate on top of the baking paper and use a pen to trace around it. Dab the corners of the baking paper with choux pastry dough and turn over onto the baking tray. This will help it stick and stop it from flying around in the oven.
  • Pipe a ring of dough around the traced circle. And then pipe another one directly on top. Brush with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water or milk) and then sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 35-40minutes. Once baked allow to cool completely in the oven. This will help prevent it from collapsing.
  • Once baked and cooled, use a serrated knife to carefully cut in half. It will be hollow inside. Pipe some pastry cream in the hollowed-out part of one half of the pastry rings. Then use a spoon or offset spatula to smoothen out flat. Then pipe swirls of pastry cream. Place the second half on top and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Notes

Storage
This French dessert can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for up to three days.
Glucose Syrup
You can use corn syrup here if you like instead. Just a tip, spray the measuring cup with oil before pouring in the syrup so that it comes out easier.
Hazelnuts
I bought my hazelnuts with no skins on. But to de-skin your own, place them on a baking tray and baking them on 160C / 325F for 20 minutes. Once baked, take out of the oven, and pour into a clean tea towel. Bunch up the towel, encasing the hazelnuts inside and rub the heel of your hand on top. This will help the already loose and oily hazelnut skin to rub on the towel and against the other hazelnuts in the towel. Undo the towel and pick out the skinned hazelnuts. Continue this process until all the hazelnuts are skinned. Some hazelnut skins are stubborn and won’t come off. They’re ok to use as well.
Eggs in choux pastry
When making choux pastry, the important thing to look for is texture. When adding the eggs, add them one at a time and keep an eye on the texture. It will go shiny and smooth. What you want is a consistency that when stretched between two fingers stretches for about 5cm before it breaks. For this reason, you may need all 4 eggs, you may only need 3 eggs to achieve this consistency, just test the mixture after the 3rd egg is added.
Milk for pastry cream
You can use plant-based milk if you wish. The milk needs to be hot. Not boiling.
My Choux pastry collapsed!
Once the pastry ring is baked allow to cool completely in the oven. This will help prevent it from collapsing.

Nutrition

Calories : 698kcal
Carbonhydrates: 22g
Protein: 9g
Fat: 61g
Saturated Fat: 37g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
Monounsaturated Fat : 17g
Trans Fat : 2g
Cholesterol: 373mg
Sodium: 497mg
Potassium : 178mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 15g
Vitamin A: 2064IU
Calcium: 120mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure