Friday, January 31, 2014

FFWD ~ Paris Brest

FFWD ~ Paris Brest
This week, our recipe for French Fridays is Paris Brest (pronounced pa-ree-BREHST).  A delectable French dessert, created by a pastry chef, to celebrate a bicycle race between Paris and Brest. The race first took place in 1891, and is the oldest cycling event in France.  The dessert consists of a baked almond topped choux pastry ring, meant to resemble a bicycle tire. After it is baked, it is split and filled with a praline flavored pastry cream.

Utterly delectable

I have been making choux pastry for years.  Profiteroles, cream puffs, eclairs…I’ve made them all. They have graced my table for many special occasions including baby showers, bridal showers, ladies luncheons and Christmas.  However, baking a large ring is a bit different. You have to make sure the ring is dry and firm to the touch. If it is not, it could deflate. A trick I learned from a recipe at  Epicuriouswas to poke small holes in the top, at the end of baking to let the steam escape, leaving the ring in the oven for a few more minutes. I used a wooden kebob skewer.
The pastry cream I used, was a traditional vanilla pastry cream from Dorie’s “Around My French Table”. Before assembling, crushed candied almonds are folded into the pastry cream.  I also added a few tablespoons of Amaretto. Yum!!  This ring can be assembled 8 hours before serving, and stored in the refrigerator until that time. My Bunco group is in for a mighty fine dessert table tonight! Happy Friday everyone!

*Some other tips I learned from Epicurious on storing and making the choux ahead of time:   
"Choux ring can be baked (but not halved) 8 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept, loosely covered with foil (not plastic wrap), at room temperature. Cooled choux ring can also be frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 week. Thaw completely in wrapping before recrisping in a preheated 350°F oven 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before proceeding".

This recipe can be found in Dorie’s Cookbook - Around My French Table.
The recipe can also be found on my friend Trevor’s wonderful blog -Sis.Boom. To see how the other Dorista’s did with this one, check it out here


And so impressive!

The pastry cream was heavenly


32 comments:

  1. You should high five yourself this week! Lucky Bunco group.

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  2. Beautiful photos and great tips!! I am jealous of your bunco group! :)

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  3. Your Paris Brest is a triumph Kathy!

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  4. Ah, so this is how it was supposed to look. Great result!

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  5. Perfect, Kathy, and thanks for all the tips from Epicurious. I definitely want to try this again
    and see if I can perfect the rings. Nice job. Enjoy the big game on Sunday, looks as
    though the weather will be great.

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  6. Absolutely beautiful… your experience with this dough comes through.. really lovely.

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  7. Wow, what a beautiful, perfect Paris-Brest! Lovely work!

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  8. I have never had a Paris-Brest..let alone baked one! It looks gorgeous, Kathy.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Angie

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  9. What a nice treat for your group!! Your pastry looks just wonderful!

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  10. Sounds like a delightful dessert, I can't imagine anyone not loving this!

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  11. You totally deserve that high five, Kathy! Your Bunco group must have been delighted with such a gorgeous dessert. I think it is just beautiful! Hope you have a great weekend and are staying warm.

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  12. Gorgeous! And I love the tips! ~ David

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  13. What a lovely dessert my friend, this pastry is so hard but apparently worth it! :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. Well, Kathy, you should be pleased as punch with your Paris Brest. I didn't know how to pronounce it correctly so thanks for that. I keep forgetting to always emphasize the last syllable. After your posting the Epicurious article, I went to the link, read it and bookmarked it. You must report about the ous and ahs and comments from your Bunco buddies. I know they are used to your spectacular dessert but this is epic. I am so inspired by everyone's efforts that I am not going to wait until returning to Aspen to make this. I am going to try it next week, the whole things, and then go sit on the street corner and offer it to Cambria residents. Might be a way to meet people. What do you think. Enjoy your month in the sunshine. Aspen got 3' to 4' of snow the past few days. Skiing is great.

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  15. I bet your Bunco friends oohed and ahhed! Gorgeous results, Kathy!!

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  16. This is a dessert to die for ... I've just come from Liz's blog and bother of you have done a great job... Thanks for the great post.

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  17. Oh my goodness gracious - you outdid yourself this week! Thanks for indulging my choice!

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  18. Yes! You totally nailed it!!! It is perfect! Thank you for sharing those tips! It takes practise to get it right and you are a very talented baker!! Great photographs!!!

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  19. Well this is lovely--I want to be in your Bunco group! Thanks for the choux pastry tips. Will be most helpful if I decide to take the plunge!

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  20. High Five's to you! That looks absolutely smashing. Lucky Bunco group :)

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  21. What an impressive dessert, sounds great.

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  22. Kathy, I thought I commented on your incredibly amazing, and gorgeous Paris Brest...but now, I think I was on 'facebook' that I saw this 'masterpiece' first. I cannot, and will not try to make this anytime soon; not because I don't want to...but simply because it looks like an 'all day' baking project. (would not want to disappoint family, or myself)
    Absolutely DIVINE...congratulations my dear friend!

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  23. Oh Kathy, your Paris-Brest is beautiful and I bet everyone in your Bunco group felt like a winner! I thought this was a fun one to make and I learned lots. I will make it again and again in one form or another. In fact, I might make it again tomorrow. Hope you are surviving the weather! I am watching the snow fall here. I was planning a trip to see grand babies but decided to wait until next week because of weather.

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  24. Thank you so much for the tip about the skewer! That is so good to know! I will have to try that next time I make this! Yours looks absolutely divine!

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  25. Kathy, an absolutely perfect Paris-Brest - I will definitely have to make the vanilla pastry cream next time I prepare this - it looks utterly delicious and pretty in your lovely French pastry! I am sure that your broncos group was more than delighted with the dessert!

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  26. ...oh, goodness, I cannot believe I wrote "broncos group"...of course, that should read "Bunco group"...that´s what happens if we read so much news coverage about the Super Bowl that it is still omnipresent in my brain...sorry about that! (I had never heard about "Bunco" but I looked it up...). Have a lovely Wednesday!

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  27. This is so beautiful Kathy and I am sure your experience with baking so many choux parties all these years helped you a lot in executing correctly this demanding recipe!

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  28. Beautiful. You are a very accomplished baker. I am sure your bunco group loved it.

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  29. Dear Kathy, This is so beautiful and delicious looking! Elegant to serve to your friends.
    They are in for a fine treat.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  30. I was wondering why your pastry cream is so pretty. I think it's the amaretto. What a great idea!

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