Today’s lesson is on Paris Brest and I was expecting a large one, but chef decided to give us a 5 inch version which is good, because this will be an individual portion, no cutting required! On a side note, my partner was ill and I hope she gets well real soon.
Apparently, Paris Brest got it’s name when it was created in France in 1910 to celebrate a cycling event, a race from Paris to Brest and back to Brest. It’s a choux pastry, piped into a round, baked till crispy and filled with mousseline cream. So here’s the recipe.
(Makes about four 5-inch rounds or eight 2.5-inch rounds)
For choux pastry
- 130g eggs (about 3 whole eggs)
- 120g bread flour
- 100g butter
- 100ml water
- 100ml milk
- 5g sugar
- 3g salt
For the mousseline cream
- 350g milk (divided into 300g and 50g approximately)
- 250g butter
- 120g sugar (to be divided approximately in half)
- 60g egg yolks
- 60g custard powder
- half a vanilla pod
- 1 tbsp hazelnut paste (optional)
For the choux pastry
- Preheat oven at 190 degrees and prepare 5-inch or 2.5-inch template and place the template underneath baking paper lined trays.
- In a saucepan, boil milk, butter, sugar, water and salt till boiling.
- Add the flour all at once and stir to mix well.
- Cook the paste till it forms a ball.
- Turn the cooked paste into a mixing bowl and using a paddle attached to mixer, mix at low speed to cool the paste.
- Add the yolks gradually until the batter is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer into a piping bag fixed with a piping tip of your choice. It can be round or star.
- Pipe into 5-inch or 2.5-inch rounds, making sure there is space in between to allow for expansion.
- Top with almond flakes.
- Bake in preheated oven of 190 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
For mousseline cream
- Boil about 300g of milk, half the sugar and vanilla bean in a pot.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk yolks, the remaining sugar, 50g of milk and custard powder till well mixed.
- Drizzle the boiling mix from 1 into the yolk mix slowly to prevent cooking the egg yolks and mix well. This is called tempering.
- Return the mix to medium heat and cook till lava consistently, stirring continuously throughout.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and whisk with hand whisk till smooth and fluffy.
- Add hazelnut paste if desired.
- Place a cling foil on the paste to prevent a skin from forming on the paste and leave to chill in fridge until ready to use.
- Slice the choux puff in half.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with chilled mousseline cream and pipe onto the choux puff.
- Chill in fridge and viola! Ready to be consumed.
The cream might be a bit heavy and I would mix with some whipped cream to lighten the mixture a bit.