paris-brest cake

Paris-Brest owes its name to a 1,200 km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. The cake was created to commemorate the race, hence, its circular shape that represents a wheel. The pastry is quite rich, but if well done and served correctly tastes like heaven. Here is a recipe from Stéphane Glacier pastry classes.

Puff dough (pâte à choux)

  • 125 g water
  • 125 g whole milk
  • 2 g salt
  • 8 g sugar
  • 110 g butter
  • 150 g flour
  • 250 g eggs (at room temperature)

Mix together water, milk, salt, sugar, and butter in a medium size pot and bring the mixture to the boil. When it starts to boil remove from heat and add flour, stir until a homogeneous mass is obtained. Put back on heat to dry out the dough until it no longer sticks to the sides of the pot. Put the dough into the mixing bowl. With the mixer on slow speed, gradually add eggs.

Transfer dough to a pastry bag that is fitted with a large plain tip. Grease metal baking circle and put it on the baking paper. Pipe a ring of dough inside the metal baking circle. Pipe another ring inside the first ring, so that the two rings touch each other. Pipe a final ring of dough on top, along the center seam between the first two rings. Sprinkle with almonds that have been sliced very thinly into little sticks. Separately, on the baking paper pipe another ring, which has the same diameter as the metal baking circle. Bake in the oven for 40-50 min at 150°C. The small ring might be ready faster than the big one. Make sure to take it out of the oven when ready.

Custard (crème pâtissière)

  • 375 g whole milk
  • 90 g egg yolks
  • 75 g sugar
  • 30 g maizena (corn flour)
  • 30 g butter

Heat the milk together with 30 g of sugar. Whip eggs with remaining 45 g of sugar, add maizena. When the milk is boiling,  pour some of it onto eggs with sugar and maizena. Whisk all the time. Then gradually pour eggs (with sugar maizena and a little bit of milk) into the rest of the milk. Put on heat for about 2 min. Remove from heat and add butter.  Put on the plate and cover with a plastic film. Let it cool down.

Praliné mousseline cream

  • 200 g praliné paste
  • 180 g butter
  • 550 g of custard

In a mixer whip butter and praliné paste, add custard and whip again. Butter should be at roughly the same temperature as custard.

When the puff pastry ring has cooled down, slice the bigger ring in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Fill the bottom part with cream and add some chunks of caramelised almonds. Place the smaller ring inside (if necessary cut the smaller ring into pieces in order to fit it inside the bigger ring). Pipe the mousseline cream on the bottom part of the ring using a medium star tip and pastry bag. Place the upper part of the ring on the top and decorate. Keep your Paris-Brest at room temperature 20-30 min before serving, the mousseline cream might appear too heavy if it is served straight from the fridge.

paris-brest cake


Image:  ©2016 Peachtree Alley