Paris-Brest is a French dessert created in 1910 in order to celebrate a cycling event, a race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris.
Paris-Brest is made from a ring of choux pastry filled with praline mousseline cream and decorated with flaked almonds and powdered sugar, imitating the shape of the bicycle wheel. It is obviously a high calorie dessert that gave energy to riders, soon became very popular and now is a dessert known worldwide.
Paris-Brest has an incredible texture, a crispy shell of choux pastry, filled with an hazelnut and almond praline paste mousseline cream and topped with crunchy toasted almonds, hard not to fall in love with it.
Even if this dessert is not too difficult to prepare it may take a bit of time especially if you make the praline paste as well. I think it is best to make the praline paste and even the vanilla pastry cream in advance and leave the choux pastry and mousseline cream, for the next day. Hope you don’t get intimidated by the list of ingredients and preparing method and you’ll give it a try. It is truly rewarding.
Chocolate Cream Puffs
Crispy Cream Puffs
Praline Paste (makes about 7 oz - 200g paste)
- 1/2 cup (75g) whole hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup (75g) whole almonds
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30ml) water
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 3.5 fl. oz (100ml) milk
- 3.5 fl. oz (100ml) water
- 2 tsp (10g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
- 5 ½ tbsp (80g) unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
Praline Mousseline Creme
- 2 cups (480 ml) milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup (70g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (20g) flour
- 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
- 1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter
- 7 oz (200g) praline paste
- 2/3 cup (150g) butter , room temperature
- 1 egg , beated
- almond flakes
- powdered sugar for decoration
- Prepare the praline paste. Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Place the nuts on a baking sheet and let them toast for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the toasted nuts onto a clean kitchen towel and rub the nuts to remove as much skin as possible. Let them cool completely.
- In a small saucepan heat sugar and water over medium high heat until turns golden brown. Stir in nuts to coat with the caramel and transfer the praline to a baking sheet to cool completely.
- Break the praline into smaller pieces
- Grind in a food processor until it gets into a thick paste, for about 10 minutes.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare the choux pastry. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 8 inch (20 cm) circle. Flip the parchment paper, make sure the circle line is still visible.
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Sift the flour. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add flour all at once and incorporate mixing energetically with a wooden spoon until homogenous.
- Return the saucepan over low heat and while stirring cook for 1 minute or two to pull out the moisture from the batter and until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. You will see some of the dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer batter to a large bowl and allow to cool. Add the eggs one at a time, carefully incorporating each into the batter using the wooden spoon or even a stand mixer. It will result in a smooth, homogenous batter which still holds its shape.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large ½ inch (1cm) round tip and pipe two circles of pastry next to each other following the drawn line. Pipe another one overlapping the first two.
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle almond flakes over the top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until browned and puffed. Turn off the heat and let cool in the oven for 15 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar.
- Remove from the oven and prick with a toothpick to let the steam escape.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile prepare the Praline Mousseline Creme. First prepare the pastry cream. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until slightly pale.
- Incorporate the cornstarch and flour. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour about a third of the hot milk over the egg yolks mixture. Pour the whole mixture into the saucepan over the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring and thickens. Keep enough over heat to cook all the cornstarch. Remove from heat, add vanilla and incorporate 1 tablespoon butter.
- Pour the cream into a clean bowl , cool slightly, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface.
- When completely chilled mix until smooth. Add praline paste and mix until combined. Gradually mix in butter and continue mixing until creamy.
- Assemble Paris-Brest. Cut the choux pastry in half. Place the bottom part onto a serving platter.
- Transfer the praline mousseline creme into a piping bag fitted with 1M star tip. Pipe 1 line of creme to fill the bottom then top with a thicker and beautiful decorated line of cream.
- Top with the second half of pastry.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve. Keep the leftovers refrigerated.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @homecookingadventure on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookingadventure.
Question about the directions:
19. First prepare the pastry cream. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until slightly pale.
20. Incorporate the cornstarch and flour. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Do I mix the cornstarch & flour together and then add it to the milk? This would seem to make the most sense but it’s a bit unclear.
This dessert looks decadent and delicious as well as being a challenge to make. I’d love to try it.
You have to incorporate the cornstarch and flour to the mixed egg yolks as shown in the video. Then heat the milk, and pour about a third of hot milk over the yolks+sugar_flour_cornstarch mixture to temper the yolk, then add everything to the rest of the milk. This makes more sense… because if you add flour and cornstarch to the milk before adding the yolk, will thicken the milk before pouring it over the yolk sugar mixture. Hope it was clear. Let me know if you have further questions and hope you will try this amazing dessert.
Hello dear ella
How can i make a chocolate recipe? Just by add some chocolate to vanilla cream?
You can find the chocolate pastry cream recipe here : https://www.homecookingadventure.com/chocolate-cream-puffs/
i will love to try this recipe tomorrow and i don’t know if a have to double all the ingredients to make 2 rings. What do you advise me?
Yes, you have to double all the ingredients; or make 2 separate cakes.
Hello Question about this recipe I want to make it ahead of time is this possible ? can I make it ahead of time and assemble it before I serve it ? also read the comment above, so I need to double the ingredients for the choux pastry to get 2 rings ?
The answer is yes for both questions. ?
Hello dear ella… Ive made lots of your recipes… And all of them are really grate…. Just a question about choux pastry…..can you tell me the exact weight of 4 eggs….?… Because sometimes it happens for me that my choux pastry doesn’t have well density and it was spread over the paper sheets.. Can you help me to find my mistake?… Thanks a lot… You’re great….
I answered my own question. I put it back in the food processor and kept going. It turned into a beautiful, pourable paste!
Is it ok if i make smaller portions per person and not one whole choux?
Hello, I’m wondering, is it 180 degrees C in conventional oven or the convection one?
EXCELLENT recipe. I finally found a great choux pastry recipe. Thank you.
The ads you allow on your page block the text of your recipe which is too bad really because it looks great.
Hello,im a huge fan ! So i desided do make this recipe.I kept the proportions by the last gram and the dough became a large amount but i thought that it is enough for the circle.And i have tried to use it all.It became very big circle and of course it didnt bake well ,it stayed raw.So please,tell me the needed amount batter for the choux pastry.
Thanks alot, your recipe is the best, I made it and we fall in love with it, and I give your link to all of my friends, Thank you very much ???? you are the best.
Please let me know what oven setting you are using. My Paris Brest keeps on deflating. Are you using convection or conventional oven?
The eggs that you used are medium or large ?
Thank you !!!
Is there a nut you can substitute instead of hazelnuts?
Lovely recipe! However the calculator to multiply doesn’t seem to do so in grams? I usually make recipes in grams and got thrown off :/
yes. that is because I added the grams by myself to make sure all is accurate.. didn’t let the app to do the conversion.. and now the calculator doesn’t take the measurements. Have to see how to fix this 🙂 Sorry for the inconvenience.