Blog-checking lines: The November Daring Bakers’ 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.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Paris-Brest ♥ #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet

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.

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5 from 1 vote

Recipe For Paris-Brest

These beautiful pastries are well worth the effort
Recipe Category: Baking
Makes enough for: 1 Paris-Brest
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Larousse Gastronomique page 747


for the praline

  • 25 g fructose
  • 25 g blanched almonds

for the choux pastry

  • 70 mls water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40 g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 14 g fructose
  • 80 g flour
  • 2 eggs

for baking the Paris-Brest

  • 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for the Italian meringue)
  • 25 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted and crushed

for the confectioners custard

  • 125 mls milk
  • 16 g flour
  • 44 g fructose
  • 4 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

for the French butter cream

  • 50 mls milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g fructose
  • 100 g butter, cut into small cubes, and placed into a glass bowl
  • 40 g praline

for the Italian meringue

  • 75 g fructose
  • 25 mls water
  • 1 egg white


for the praline

  • Place the nuts into a non stick frying pan and heat over a low temperature
  • Place the fructose into a stainless steel frying pan
  • Heat the fructose over a medium temperature until a caramel forms
  • Add the nuts and stir quickly
  • Pour out onto a silpat immediately
  • Leave to cool
  • Blitz in a food processor until fine

for the choux pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • Place the water, salt, butter and fructose into a saucepan
  • Heat on a medium temperature until the butter melts
  • Increase the temperature and bring to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and add the flour
  • Mix quickly and return to the heat
  • Stir on a medium temperature until the pastry pulls away from the sides
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly
  • Using a wooden spoon beat in the eggs until completely combined and the pastry is glossy
  • Place the pastry into a piping bag with a 10mm nozzle
  • Pipe into circles that are 7.5cm in diameter, you need to pipe 3 layers per circle
  • Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the top with the almonds
  • Bake for 25 minutes
  • Cool in the oven with the door open
  • Remove and set aside until cold

for the confectioners custard

  • Place the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Pour into a heatproof measuring jug
  • Place the flour, fructose, butter, egg and salt into the saucepan and whisk
  • Add the milk and stir well with a wooden spoon
  • Return to the heat and boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly
  • Pour into a glass bowl and place some cling film over the top to prevent a skin from forming
  • Leave to get cold

for the French butter cream

  • Place the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Place the eggs and the fructose into a bowl and whisk until ribbon stage
  • Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously
  • Return to the heat on a medium temperature
  • Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until you get a thick custard
  • Pour over the butter, and whisk by hand until the butter has been incorporated
  • Leave to cool before adding the praline

for the Italian meringue

  • Place the fructose and water into a saucepan
  • Heat on a medium temperature until soft ball stage (116° Celsius)
  • Place the egg white into a stand mixer and whisk until stiff
  • Add the syrup slowly, whisking continuously
  • Continue whisking until the meringue is cold

for the Paris-Brest

  • Cut the choux rings in half horizontally
  • Mix together the confectioners custard, French butter cream and Italian meringue
  • Place into a piping bag with a large star nozzle
  • Pipe the mixture onto the bottom half of the choux rings
  • Replace the top half and enjoy


The meringue will keep in the fridge

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Paris-Brest Pastries
Paris-Brest Pastries


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

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34 thoughts on “Paris-Brest

  1. Oh, beautiful Tandy – as you might have gathered I am not a great sweet baker – but these would be worth the effort, I think.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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??? 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    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.

  6. 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. 🙂

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