Paris Brest is a ring of choux profiteroles, filled with a hazelnut cream and topped with almonds. This grand confection was originally devised in honour of a 1200km bicycle race between the French cities of Paris and Brest – hence its wheel shape. By Lorraine Meaney. Photographs by Richard Goode.

Pâté choux

80ml water
125ml milk
Pinch salt
50g unsalted butter
100g flour, sieved
200g egg, beaten

Method

  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Bring the water, milk, salt and butter to a gentle simmer.
  • Remove from the heat, shoot in the flour and using a wooden spoon, bring pastry together until it comes clean off the sides.
  • Return to a gentle heat and evaporate as much of the moisture as possible without allowing the mixture to change colour.
  • Remove mixture from the saucepan and mix using the paddle attachment of a food processor, allowing the mixture to cool by beating.
  • Gradually add the beaten egg little by little until the pastry is smooth, shiny and has a drop consistency.
  • Pipe the paste into small rounds on a silpat mat placed on an inverted tray, keeping them a consistent size.
  • Bake until dark brown and well risen.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately slice or prick a hole in base to allow steam to escape and product to dry out, then cool on a wire rack.

Crème Patissière

60g cake flour
180g granulated sugar
500ml milk
120g egg yolk
4ml vanilla bean paste
30g unsalted butter

  • Sift the flour and sugar together.
  • Whisk 240ml of the milk with the egg yolks, then slowly add to the flour to form a smooth paste.
  • Heat the remaining milk with the vanilla and temper into the egg mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan and, over a low heat, thicken while constantly stirring.
  • Remove from the heat, place into a clean bowl and stir in the butter.
  • Store with plastic wrap placed on the surface of the custard and chill.

Praline filling

295g crème patissière
240g butter, softened
100g praline
100g flaked almonds

  • Beat the pastry cream until smooth.
  • Combine the softened butter with the praline.
  • Fold the pastry cream little by little into the praline mixture.
  • Pipe the mixture into the cavities made in the choux profiteroles.
  • Arrange profiteroles in a circle, dust with icing sugar, sprinkle with almonds and serve.

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