Recipe For Paris-Brest

In 2008 Dave and I visited Brittany and it was this trip that got me started on watching the annual Tour de France as that year they went through many of the places we had seen. Every year since then I have watched the Tour to see parts of France we would like to visit, and to see if I recognize landmarks we have been to on previous visits. I watch the Giro d’Italia for the same reason. However, this year I have watched the cycle races not only for the scenery, but also for the actual cycling. A lot of strategy goes into a cycle race, with the team picking the best riders for that particular race. One year you might need specialists in mountain climbing and another year you might need someone good at time trials. No matter what, I know that the cyclists are exhausted after long tours. The Paris-Brest race was originally run from Paris to Brest in Brittany and back to Paris. Just the thought of that makes me exhausted. The Paris-Brest pastry was created in 1891 to mark the first year that the race ended in Brest. The pastries are circular to resemble the wheels of the bicycle, and the high calorific count would have helped with replacing the calories the riders burnt up on the race. You might find the recipe length exhausting, but it is well worth the effort, and with all the preparation you are going to do, the calories will be much needed. For the purpose of making these Paris-Brest pastries I used a chocolate confectioners custard that I had in my freezer. I was really grateful for this as the first time I made the French butter cream it split. I had to go out and buy more ingredients to carry on, so having the custard already done saved me time. You will need to set aside the day to make these as everything has to be cold before you can assemble the Paris-Brest.

Paris-Brest
Paris-Brest

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Recipe For Paris-Brest
 
These beautiful pastries are well worth the effort
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Ingredients
for the praline
  • 25g sugar - I used fructose
  • 25g blanched almonds
for the choux pastry
  • 70mls water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 14g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 80g flour
  • 2 eggs
for baking the Paris-Brest
  • 1 egg yolk, reserve the white for the Italian meringue
  • 25g flaked almonds, lightly toasted and crushed
for the confectioners custard
  • 125mls milk
  • 16g flour
  • 44g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 4g butter
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
for the French butter cream
  • 50mls milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 100g butter, cut into small cubes, and placed into a glass bowl
  • 40g praline
for the Italian meringue
  • 75g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 25mls water
  • 1 egg white
Method
for the praline
  1. Place the nuts into a non stick frying pan and heat over a low temperature
  2. Place the sugar into a stainless steel frying pan
  3. Hear the sugar over a medium temperature until a caramel forms
  4. Add the nuts and stir quickly
  5. Pour out onto a silpat immediately
  6. Leave to cool
  7. Blitz in a food processor until fine
for the choux pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. Place the water, salt, butter and sugar into a saucepan
  3. Heat on a medium temperature until the butter melts
  4. Increase the temperature and bring to the boil
  5. Remove from the heat and add the flour
  6. Mix quickly and return to the heat
  7. Stir on a medium temperature until the pastry pulls away from the sides
  8. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly
  9. Using a wooden spoon beat in the eggs until completely combined and the pastry is glossy
  10. Place the pastry into a piping bag with a 10mm nozzle
  11. Pipe into circles that are 7.5cm in diameter, you need to pipe 3 layers per circle
  12. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the top with the almonds
  13. Bake for 25 minutes
  14. Cool in the oven with the door open
  15. Remove and set aside until cold
for the confectioners custard
  1. Place the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil
  2. Pour into a heatproof measuring jug
  3. Place the flour, sugar, butter, egg and salt into the saucepan and whisk
  4. Add the milk and stir well with a wooden spoon
  5. Return to the heat and boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly
  6. Pour into a glass bowl and place some cling film over the top to prevent a skin from forming
  7. Leave to get cold
for the French butter cream
  1. Place the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil
  2. Place the eggs and the sugar into a bowl and whisk until ribbon stage
  3. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously
  4. Return to the heat on a medium temperature
  5. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until you get a thick custard
  6. Pour over the butter, and whisk by hand until the butter has been incorporated
  7. Leave to cool before adding the praline
for the Italian meringue
  1. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan
  2. Heat on a medium temperature until soft ball stage (116° Celsius)
  3. Place the egg white into a stand mixer and whisk until stiff
  4. Add the syrup slowly, whisking continuously
  5. Continue whisking until the meringue is cold
for the Paris-Brest
  1. Cut the choux rings in half horizontally
  2. Mix together the confectioners custard, French butter cream and Italian meringue
  3. Place into a piping bag with a large star nozzle
  4. Pipe the mixture onto the bottom half of the choux rings
  5. Replace the top half and enjoy
My Notes
The meringue will keep in the fridge

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Paris-Brest Pastries
Paris-Brest Pastries

Blog-checking lines: The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.

Paris-Brest With Chocolate Confectioners Custard
Paris-Brest With Chocolate Confectioners Custard

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24 thoughts on “Recipe For Paris-Brest

  1. This is one of my FAVORITE Frenchie treats. Not only is it delicious and comes with a cool story, but it makes me giggle to say the name. 🙂
    CakeSpy sharing the blog ♥ What is Cornstarch and What Does it Do?My Profile

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    1. Ha ha, I didn’t read it like that 🙂 Thanks for the visit 🙂

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  2. Wow Tandy, these are like little work of art. I know French Pastries area always just a tad bit labor intensive. Very informative post and I think if one of these delicious pastries were at the end of my cycling tour, I would hurry to get to the end.

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    1. I think I would learn to ride properly as well for one of these 🙂

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  3. This is a scary recipe, I would love to try it though! Beautiful 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. A nice December project for you?

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  4. Waw, Well done, tandy! What a lot of work though but so worth it,..I reckon! 🙂 The Paris brest look delicious! Who wouldn’t fall in love with them??? 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much Sophie 🙂

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  5. This is one of my best friend’s favourite things! EVER. So keen to try this out but am not the best at baking so I will probably put this off till his birthday. The recipe looks incredibly tricky, really impressed by how beautifully yours turned out! x
    Shu Han sharing the blog ♥ Turkey beyond drunken kebabs, and a Smoky Aubergine DipMy Profile

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    1. Thanks Shu Han, they are worth the effort for someone special 🙂

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  6. That’s cool! My brother is a semi professional cyclist, his wife is pretty big into the cycling world too. I reckon I could wow them with this, they’d be rather impressed with my knowledge. Thanks a bunch Tandy. 🙂
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx

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    1. Have fun making them Anna 🙂

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  7. oh yes! Your Paris-Brests look amazing! oh wow! …. I’d die to taste it!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliment and the visit Marcela 🙂

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  8. Oh, beautiful Tandy – as you might have gathered I am not a great sweet baker – but these would be worth the effort, I think.
    Rachel (Rachel’s Kitchen NZ) sharing the blog ♥ Devilled Kidneys & BaconMy Profile

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    1. They are so worth the effort Rachel 🙂

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  9. Wonderful recipe Tandy! Looks delicious! What restaurant have you had the best pastries? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/lavenderandlime

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    1. Thanks Julia 🙂

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  10. These are some of my favorite pastries! THanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Do not attempt these before your wedding 😉

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  11. Wow that took some effort – they look amazing! A pal of mine lives near Montpellier and the race went (goes) past where she lives.

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    1. I would love to watch the race live one year! These were a lot of effort but worth it 🙂

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  12. Oh well done! You are very brave to take these on but I am sure that they were delicious. xx

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    1. Brave is a good word – the recipe looks a bit daunting 🙂

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