Paris Brest

Paris Brest

By
From
Sweet
Serves
6-8

A classic dessert first invented in 1910, in honour of the Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race, this has since become popular all over the world. Sadly, we don’t often see it in restaurants nowadays, but it’s widely available in patisseries across France and in the UK. With a praline mousseline filling and choux pastry, its simple, precise flavours make it a winner every single time. I’ve topped mine with a little bit of caramel and flaked almonds to add some texture, but you could just leave it plain.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Choux pastry éclairs, dough only
2 tablespoons flaked almonds

For the mousseline filling

Quantity Ingredient
600g Crème pâtissière
400g butter, softened
150ml double cream
225g hazelnut paste

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
200g caster sugar
50g toasted flaked almonds

Method

  1. Make the choux pastry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with silicone paper. Draw a 30cm circle onto the paper then flip the paper over and place on the tray.
  3. Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe, using swirls or lines, into one large ring, using the line as a template. If you like, you can draw an inner circle as a guide. Scatter the flaked almonds over the top of the choux.
  4. Place a heatproof container of water into the oven on the base or bottom shelf to create steam. Bake the choux ring for 20 minutes. Open the oven door, remove the water container then shut the door, drop the oven temperature to 180°C and continue to bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. The water helps with the steam to start with, but you need to remove it to get a nice crusty result. Remove the choux ring from the tray and cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the mousseline filling, prepare the crème pâtissière. Beat half the butter into the warm crème pâtissière then allow to cool to room temperature. Beat in the rest of the butter, the cream and the hazelnut paste – you will end up with a smooth, light filling. Spoon it into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1cm nozzle.
  6. Split the choux ring in half horizontally using a sharp, serrated knife and turning the ring as you cut. Place the base on a serving plate. Pipe the mousseline filling over the base then top with other half of the ring.
  7. Heat a frying pan until hot, then add the sugar and cook until the sugar becomes liquid and turns a deep golden caramel colour. Add the toasted flaked almonds and stir through, then drizzle straight over the top of the filled choux. Allow to cool for a few minutes so that it hardens slightly before serving.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
desserts
puddings
sweet
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