Created in 1910 by chef Louis Durand to celebrate the famous Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race, this decadent dessert is a true French classic found in pâtisseries (French for pastry shops) all over the country.

With a shape resembling that of a bicycle wheel, Paris-Brest is made with a ring of pâte à choux – a puffy hollow pastry, topped with thin sliced almonds and baked until golden brown. This dessert is a longstanding favorite among the French. 

Paris Brest Recipe at Le Petit Paris Winter Garden

Choux pastry (You can also get the Choux Pastry recipe here)

Ingredients

Water 500g

Sugar (optional) 10g

Salt 5g

Butter 200g

Flour 300g

Eggs 500g

Process

  • Gently heat the water, sugar, salt, and butter until the butter is completely melted (the water should not boil until the butter has melted).
  • Bring everything to a boil.
  • Take it off the heat, add the flour, then return to low heat and whisk gently for two minutes to dry your dough.
  • Mix in the eggs one by one (by hand with a spoon or beater). The most important thing is to stop adding in texts once you arrive at the right texture. The ideal texture is a fairly supple dough that’s flexible but not runny.

Then create spheres out of the dough that are about 4in wide and 1 in thick. Put them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cream for Paris-Brest

Ingredients

Butter 125 g

Pralines 130g

Egg white 125g

Sugar 200g

Water 50g

Process

Start by making an Italian meringue by cooking the sugar and water to 70 degrees Celsius. Whip your egg whites until you get stiff peaks, then pour in the sugar and water mixture. Whisk it all together until it has stiffened again. Let the mixer run until the meringue cools. During this time, soften the butter – it should be the same consistency as a pomade. Mix in the pralines.

Gently add the Italian meringue to the praline butter.

When your choux pastry circles are cold, cut them in half horizontally.

Garnish with praline cream using a pastry bag. Rest the choux pastry and sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar and roasted almond flakes.

And voila – enjoy your delicious Paris-Brest!

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