Thursday, 27 November 2014



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.


This has been in my baking to do list for a very long time so I was glad this challenge came up in the Daring Bakers. It's supposed to represent a bicycle wheel to commemorate the Paris to Brest bicycle race. Well my pastry certainly isn't very round. It's more like oval. But I did have problems in the baking of the choux pastry. After watching it rise wonderfully in the oven it deflated when I took it out. Maybe the oven temperature was too low, maybe the baking time was too short, or I took it out too soon. But it doesn't matter, instead of slicing each of it horizontally for the filling, I just put it on top of the other and I think it's as good as any. :)



*For the Choux Pastry:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup + 2 tsp [100ml] whole milk
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1/3 cup [85 g] butter
100 g  [3/4 cup] plain flour
3 medium eggs - slightly beaten
slivered almonds
extra egg for brushing on top
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil on medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the flour in one go and stir vigorously. Bring the heat to low and stir continously until the mixture come together into a firm, smooth dough. It must be dry and should come away from the bottom of the saucepan easily.
  4. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  5. Using an electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. The dough will be smooth like a very thick cream.
  6. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Draw 4 1/2-inch circles on the underside of the baking paper to help in piping the circles.
  7. Use a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch (10 mm) nozzle to pipe the pastry. Pipe the pastry dough into two concentric circles tracing the guide you drew previously. Pipe a third circle on top.
  8. Brush all over with the extra beaten egg and sprinkle the slivered almonds.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool inside the oven with the door slightly ajar.
*Note to self: Next time try baking with high heat initially and/or increase baking time.

*For the Praline:
60 g  [1/3 cup] whole almonds
60 g  [1/3 cup] whole hazelnuts
80 g   caster sugar
1 Tbsp water
  1. Gently caramelise the caster sugar in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Add water and bring to boil.
  3. Add the nuts and stir to coat the nuts with the syrup. At this point the sugar will crystallize again. Continue stirring until the sugar caramelize again.
  4. Immediately transfer the nuts onto a baking sheet grease with oil. Cool completely.
  5. Break up into smaller pieces and grind in a food processor until you have a thick paste.

*For the Creme Mouselline:
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 Tbsp plain flour
85 g  [1/3 cup] unsalted butter - softened
80 g  praline
  1. In a heatproof bowl whisk the egg yolks and flour until combined.
  2. Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Pour half of the hot milk in the egg yolk-flour mixture while whisking vigorously. Once mixture is well combined, pour it back to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cook on medium heat while stirring continously.
  4. When mixture is thick and smooth, remove from heat and transfer to another heatproof bowl and cover the cream with cling film touching the cream. This is to prevent a crust to form on top. Let cool completely.
  5. In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the praline until smooth.
  6. Add the cooled pastry cream and mix until well combined.

*To assemble:
  • Slice the baked pastry horizontally.
  • Spread or pipe the creme mouselline on the lower half and then carefully put the top half on.
  • [Optional] Dust with some icing sugar on top.


Kim said...

Sounds as if we all had a problem with early removal from the oven and deflating pastry. They look just beautiful regardless!

celia kusinera said...

Hi Kim, maybe it had something to do with the oven temperature. I looked at other Paris-Brest recipes and all of them start at a high temperature for about 15 minutes then lowered to 180C. Well, that's something to try next time.