The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

by Nata
Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

Last Updated on September 28, 2020 by Cookie

The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry is surely a recipe for my taste and soul! Its beautiful, delicate, and elegant look would grace any special occasion.

Paris Brest is a pure French dessert. This exceptional delight is made of choux pastry dough and usually is filled with traditional hazelnut praline cream.  It was created by chef Louis Durand in 1910 to celebrate a bicycle race between two cities: Paris and Brest. Actually, even its ring shape imitates the bicycle wheel. Another thing specific to Paris Brest, compared to an ordinary Eclair or Praline which are made from the same dough is the almond flakes sprinkled on top. Almonds get golden nicely in the oven and bring an extra crunchy texture.

Paris-Brest Choux PastryNow there are versatile variations of filling for this dessert,  but the basic elements – the choux pastry- remain indispensable.

Although being a big fan of choux pastry, for some time I avoid even trying baking this airy dough. I was convinced that only talented pastry chefs could succeed with these unbelievable desserts. Hopefully, I didn’t give up and now my family and friends can enjoy best homemade savory delights. Do not be afraid, just set aside all your worries and try to create. I assure you it is truly rewarding.

What is Choux Pastry?

Paris-Brest Choux PastryChoux Pastry, also known as Pâte à Choux is a French pastry dough mixed quickly on the stove, piped into favorite shapes, baked in the oven, and then filled with various fillings.

This pastry is used for Eclairs, Choux buns, Profiteroles, Paris-Brest, and Croquembouche. Choux pastry is pretty easy to make and requires just 5 basic ingredients: water, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs.

Baked choux pastry has a crisp outer shell with a large air pocket inside, perfect for a delicious filling.  

Is choux pastry the same as puff pastry?

Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

Both choux pastry and puff pastry come from French cuisine, but they have a totally different texture.

Puff pastry is a kind of laminated dough made of flour, water, and butter. It is a delicate, light, and flaky pastry.

Choux pastry is made of 5 basic ingredients:  water (sometimes halved with milk), butter, sugar, salt, and eggs. For this pastry, we don’t use any chemical raising agent. After backing, it has a crispy outer shell with a light and airy interior.

How to make Choux Pastry dough? 

It is not at all difficult to make the french choux pastry dough. Just follow the instruction and you will succeed. I like to watch how its texture change from one stage to another.

 

Paris-Brest Choux PastryPreheat the oven at 425˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Now take the round base of the baking springform tray ( or a plate of the same diameter) and place it in the centre of the parchment paper. Draw the outline circle with a pencil. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of the water into a saucepan and add 8 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  Set on the stove at low heat. Stir constantly until the butter just melted. When you see the butter melted, stir in 1 cup flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 2-3 mins until the mixture comes together into a smooth ball and doesn’t stick anymore to the sides of the saucepan.

Take the saucepan off the heat and transfer the dough to a stand mixer bowl fitted with the flat beater. Let the dough cool for 4-5 minutes then switch on the mixer on low speed. In 2-3 minutes gradually incorporate 4 eggs – one egg at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate between additions. Beat until dough is smooth, shiny, and it falls nicely when you lift it up with a scraper.

Paris-Brest Choux Pastry*Make sure not to add the eggs into the hot dough because you risk getting an omelet.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2” round tip.

Then take the previously prepared baking tray and pipe two circles of pastry next to each other following the drawn line. Then pipe another one on top of the first two.

Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle some almond flakes over the top.

Bake the Choux pastry dough at 425˚F for 10 minutes. Then, without opening the oven lower the temperature to 325˚F and, bake for 30 minutes more, until golden brown. 

Remove the pastry ring from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

How to make The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry filling?

Paris-Brest Choux PastryWhile the choux is cooling prepare The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry filling.

 The authentic choux pastry ring is usually paired with praline cream, but today I filled it with decadent vanilla whipped cream filling and decorated it with fresh strawberries. The richness of the whipped cream and the sweet and tangy taste of strawberries is a dream pairing.

In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the wire whip combine 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tbsp of icing sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat until soft peaks form. Then add 4 oz cream cheese and beat for 1-2 more minutes.

 

How to assemble The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry?

Wash and dry about 14 oz of strawberries. Then hull and slice them.

Cut the choux pastry ring in half and arrange the bottom part onto a serving platter. Top with sliced strawberries.

Paris-Brest Choux PastryTransfer the whipped cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2” round tip. Pipe cream in a circular motion over the strawberries to fill the bottom. Then top gently with the second part of choux.

Serve immediately with a glass of Mimosa cocktail!

Can I freeze Choux Pastry?

Definitely! But I recommend you to freeze already baked choux pastry in an airtight plastic freezer bag. Before serving thaw completely the choux at room temperature. Then add your favorite filling and topping.

I can guarantee you that this luxury confectionery “accessory” is worth the effort and each calorie.

Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry

Nata
The Paris-Brest Choux Pastry is surely a recipe for my taste and soul! Its beautiful, delicate, and elegant look would grace any special occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 398 kcal

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • baking sheet
  • stand mixer
  • wooden spoon
  • disposable pastry bag

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for Choux Pastry:

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup almond flakes for garnish

Ingredients for the Paris-Brest Choux Pastry Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 oz strawberries

Instructions
 

Choux Pastry:

  • Preheat the oven at 425˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Now take the round base of the baking springform tray ( or a plate of the same diameter) and place it in the center of the parchment paper. Draw the outline circle with a pencil. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of the water into a saucepan and add 8 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  Set on the stove at low heat. Stir constantly until the butter just melted. When you see the butter melted, stir in 1 cup flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 2-3 mins until the mixture comes together into a smooth ball and doesn’t stick anymore to the sides of the saucepan.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat and transfer the dough to a stand mixer bowl fitted with the flat beater. Let the dough cool for 4-5 minutes then switch on the mixer on low speed. In 2-3 minutes gradually incorporate 4 eggs - one egg at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate between additions. Beat until dough is smooth, shiny, and it falls nicely when you lift it up with a scraper.
  • Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2” round tip. Then take the previously prepared baking tray and pipe two circles of pastry next to each other following the drawn line. Then pipe another one on top of the first two.
  • Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle some almond flakes over the top.
  • Bake the Choux pastry dough at 425˚F for 10 minutes. Then, without opening the oven lower the temperature to 325˚F and, bake for 30 minutes more, until golden brown.
  • Remove the pastry ring from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Paris-Brest Choux Pastry Filling:

  • In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the wire whip combine 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tbsp of icing sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat until soft peaks form. Then add 4 oz cream cheese and beat for 1-2 more minutes.

Assembly the Paris-Brest Choux Pastry Filling:

  • Cut the choux pastry ring in half and arrange the bottom part onto a serving platter. Top with sliced strawberries. Transfer the whipped cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2” round tip. Pipe cream in a circular motion over the strawberries to fill the bottom. Then top gently with the second part of choux.
  • Serve immediately with a glass of Mimosa cocktail!

Nutrition

Calories: 398kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 7gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 165mgPotassium: 197mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1101IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Choux Pastry, Choux Pastry recipe, Paris-Brest, Paris-Brest Choux Pastry
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