Paris Brest truly is sheer heaven! It is a wonderful treat at anytime and is a great dessert for a special occasion.
This gorgeous cake is named after the Paris-Brest bicycle race and was invented in 1891 by a Parisian pastry chef, Monsieur Louis Durand who owned a shop along the route. The last time the race was run was in 1951.The cake was made to resemble the bicycle's wheels!
It really is easy to make so please don't be alarmed at the thought of making it at home! You just need to make three easy parts to this fabulous cake; the choux pastry, the praline paste and the crème patissiere.
Always remember you are not competing with Master Chefs - this is for your family and friends and if it is not perfect first time around it will still taste fabulous.
You will need a piping bag without a nozzle and a baking tray
The three little steps for your Paris Brest:
You need to make the Praline Paste which will flavor the filling.
• 2 oz unblanched almonds or you can use hazlenuts
• 2 1/2 oz castor sugar
• 2 tablespoons water
• First place the nuts on a baking tray and toast in a moderate oven for about ten minutes until golden brown.
• Place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil.
• Continue to boil until it is caramalised.
• Put the nuts into the mixture and mix.
• Pour the mixture on to a marble slab or a baking tray and leave to go cold.
• When it is cold break up and either put it in a grinder to grind to a pulp, smash with a rolling pin or place in a pestle and mortar and work to a paste.
Keep it to one side ready to mix into the crème patisserie. You can also keep it in an airtight tin for using at another time or in advance for this recipe.
You will need Crème Patissiere for the filling.
In the last stage, mix in the praline paste to flavor.
Make this and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill the Paris Brest with it.
You will now need to make your Choux Pastry so follow the recipe but you do not need the nutmeg.
Now you are ready to make your Paris Brest!
You will need a few almond flakes and a little beaten egg to glaze the top.
• Fill the icing bag with the choux pastry,( without a nozzle), and pipe a large ring with the choux pastry on to a lightly buttered baking tray. You can if you wish make individual smaller ones.
• Brush the top with a little beaten egg and sprinkle a few almond flakes on the top.
• Place in the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven 400F (205C,Gas6) and leave for 15 minutes.
• Now reduce the oven temperature to 375F,(190C,Gas 5) for another 25 minutes.
• Take out of the oven and leave to go cold.
• Split with a sharp knife through the centre, horizontally and fill with the crème patissiere.
• Dust the top with icing sugar.
Now you have the most wonderful French Gateau.