Version by Simon Rasmussen
Digital oven thermometer
Silicone baking mat
Perforated “air” baking mat
French star nozzle tip
120g Unsalted butter 82% fat content
120g Whole milk
2 large pinches of salt
1 Tablespoon caster sugar
140g plain flour
220g Eggs (might need slightly more or less)
75g Almond flake for decorating
Extra hazelnuts chopped for inside of choux at assembly stage.
Praline Crème Mousseline
500g Whole milk
100g Caster sugar
80g Egg yolk approximately (Yolk of 4-5 eggs)
50g Corn starch
2 teaspoons Vanilla bean paste
50g Unsalted butter room temperature, 82% fat content (-will be used while making the pastry cream)
130g Hazelnut Praline paste homemade or store bought
150g Unsalted butter room temperature, 82% fat content (- will be used while making the mousseline cream)
- Sift flour then measure and set aside
- Place butter, water, milk, salt, and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove from heat, add the flour in one go, and whisk vigorously with a rubber spatula until it forms into one smooth ball and flour bits are not visible.
- Pre-heat oven to 200C.
- Place the saucepan back to the stove and cook the dough for about 3 min over medium heat mixing constantly. It is ready when a sort of skin forms on the bottom up the saucepan.
- Transfer the dough into a stand mixer bowl and let it cool down slightly before mixing the egg in.
- Mix in only a small amount of egg at a time, consistently whisking after each addition. You should reach a consistency which is not too runny, not too firm but just fine to pipe.
- Put your choux dough into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle tip.
The recipe makes three Paris Brest approximately 19cm in diameter. Since the choux will expand in the oven, you will need to pipe about 14cm. Pipe the dough in a ring shape on baking paper, you can draw a circle on the back of the baking paper to help you get a perfect circle, leaving enough space in between them, as they will puff.
- Lower oven temperature to 170C and bake the Choux rings for 40min. Do not open the oven door in the first 30min.
- If you are baking choux for the first time it is a good idea to take one choux bun out of the oven at 40min and check its consistency. If it is golden in colour, nicely puffed up, does not deflate on room temperature and the middle of the ring is not raw (it is ok if it’s a bit wet, it will dry while cooling down) then it is as good as done.
- Cool them on a cooling rack.
- In a large enough bowl with the help of a whisk, mix sugar and egg yolk together until slightly fluffy for about 1-2 minutes.
- Mix in corn starch and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated, you are looking for a smooth paste.
- Bring milk to simmering in a saucepan on medium heat. Make sure it is simmering but not crazy boiling.
- Pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens. It might get lumpy first, don’t worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy.
- If in doubt, strain the pastry cream for a lump-free, creamy result.
- Add in room temperature soft butter and mix with your rubber spatula until completely incorporated. It is worth to add the butter in 3 stages and mix well after each addition.
- Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
Make the Mousseline Cream
Crème mousseline can be made with room temp pastry cream, room temp butter, and hazelnut praline paste. Make sure everything is at room temp otherwise the mixture might curdle.
- Whip up room temp butter first for 1-2 minutes, then mix in praline paste.
- Start adding in the room temp pastry cream in four stages until cream reaches a stable yet fluffy texture.
- Do not over whip the mixture as it can become runny.
- Cut the top of each choux ring and fill them with about 1 tablespoon chopped roasted hazelnut per ring plus some hazelnut praline paste on top.
- Place your mousseline cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle tip.
- Pipe the hazelnut praline mousseline cream around the choux.
- Dust the top part of the choux ring with icing sugar and place on top.
- Decorate the top with some more hazelnuts.
- Store in fridge.
Paris Brest is best served fresh, as choux pastry might get soggy after some time. Due to the butter content in the mousseline cream it will get firmer in the fridge, know that this is normal. If you prefer you can bring the Paris Brest slightly to room temperature before serving.