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.
50g unsalted butter
100g flour, sieved
200g egg, beaten
- 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.
60g cake flour
180g granulated sugar
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.
295g crème patissière
240g butter, softened
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.