This delicious pastry was created by a French pastry chef to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race and it was made in the shape of a ring to represent a wheel.
The key to making this choux pastry is to get the right consistency of the mixture. The original recipe actually called for a praline flavoured cream but being a coffee lover, I decided to make coffee cream icing instead to go in it. It gives a beautiful aroma and flavour to the pastry and matches perfectly with the crisp almond flakes.
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp castor sugar
125g plain flour, sifted
60g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
25g almond flakes
300ml heavy cream or thickened cream
4-5 Tbsp icing sugar (or adjust according to your sweetness preference)
1 Tbsp coffee powder
1 tsp boiling water
extra icing sugar for dusting
1) Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper, draw 8.5cm diameter circles (leaving 3.5cm space apart each circles) and then turn the paper upside down.
2) Combine the salt, sugar and flour in a bowl and set aside.
3) Put the water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring slowly to the boil (the butter should melt before it comes to the boil).
4) Working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine.
5) Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring vigorously, for about 1 min or until the mixture forms a smooth, thick mass that comes away from the side of the pan. (Do not overbeat the mixture or the pastry will not rise properly). Set the mixture aside for 5 mins or until cooled slightly.
|Stir vigorously until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan|
6) Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or you can beat by hand with a wooden spoon). Gradually add in the beaten egg as you beat the mixture constantly, ensuring it's mixed in well before adding more.
7) Continue beating in the egg until the mixture is glossy and falls heavily from the beaters. The mixture should fold in on itself when cut through with a spatula. You may not need to add in all of the egg once you have the right consistency (you don't want your mixture to be too watery).
|This is the consistency to achieve|
8) Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Pipe the dough onto the baking paper, following the circle. Pipe another circle of dough around the inside, leaving a tiny gap to allow spreading. Pipe a third circle over the gap between the 2 rings, then use your fingers (moisten with a bit of water) to very lightly smooth the surface slightly.
9) Scatter the almond flakes over the pastry, then bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden and puffed., Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
10) To make coffee cream, dilute coffee powder with the boiling water. Beat the heavy cream and icing sugar until thick. Add in the diluted coffee and continue to beat till stiff. Take care not to overbeat.
11) Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the Paris Brest in half horizontally. Spoon the coffee cream in a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe the filling onto the base. Top with the pastry ring. Repeat with the rest of the pastries and dust icing sugar over them.
12) Serve and enjoy!