Posts Tagged ‘Paris-Brest’

Sydney’s weather has eased slightly, and I’ve leapt at the opportunity to turn the oven on!

This kamut, potato and beer bread comes from Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries.   The loaf was soft and slightly cakey,  with a pronounced but not unpleasant bitterness from the Guinness.  It was very tasty smothered with Pete’s homemade butter, and topped with fresh tomato and sheep’s milk cheese.

The bread only used 60ml of stout, and I was loathe to waste the rest of the can, so I made a Chocolate Guinness Cake (topping up the shortfall in beer with 60ml of water).  It was moist, dark and very grown-up, and baked particularly well in my extra-large bundt pan.

Some more experiments with choux pastry – this time chocolate fondant covered éclairs and mini Paris-Brest wheels…

Finally, a comment left by Deb reminded me that I had half a carton of buttermilk in the fridge that needed using up.  I baked an old standby, the Buttermilk and Almond Cake, and dressed it up with a generous swirl of Pete’s freshly made white nectarine and raspberry conserve.

Pete, who was mildly miffed at only getting three slices of Guinness cake, declared that this one was all his…

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Mark and Bruce at Real Food Has Curves (what an irresistible name!) wrote a three-post recipe for Paris-Brest, a French pastry traditionally made to celebrate and nourish athletes at the end of the long Paris to Brest bike race.  Created in 1891, the wheel-shaped ring of choux pastry is filled with crème pralinée and sweetened whipped cream.

I had to walk to the shops twice to buy necessary ingredients – not quite the 1200km between Paris and Brest – but I figured that justified me eating a generous slice nonetheless.

The guys have written the best instructions I’ve come across yet for choux pastry, and I’m confident that it’s something I’ll be baking regularly from now on.  I won’t repost their recipe here, but will instead refer you directly to their first post: Paris-Brest, Part 1.

I followed their instructions to the letter to make the nougatine and choux pastry, but substituted my own recipe for crème pâtissière (forgive me, Bruce!), which is made in the microwave in just a few minutes.

The nougatine, also known as almond praline, was remarkably simple to create  from icing sugar mixture and flaked almonds.  Yet another useful addition to my dessert répertoire! Here’s a photo of it before it was pulverised and added to the pastry cream…

Some assembly photos :

Choux pastry ring cut open for filling…

Crème pralinée, made by folding the crumbled nougatine through the pastry cream, was spread over the base, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, piped in a swirly pattern…

Here’s the  finished pastry, dusted with icing sugar…

I let this set up in the fridge for a couple of hours before attempting to cut it, as the cream was quite soft. It sliced beautifully after that.

Now, time to ring the neighbours and share the love around!

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