The Paris Brest is French classic, named after an old bicycle race from Paris to Brest in Brittany. The shape represents a bicycle wheel, and we love them!
The Paris Brest is a traditional French dessert made using choux pastry and a praline cream. It takes some time and care to pipe these beautiful pastry wheels but it’s worth it. We’ve reduced the sugar by using apple juice instead of refined sugar. Also, we used powdered natural erythritol to dust instead of icing sugar. Erythritol is a natural sugar alternative that has about 70 per cent of the sweetness of sugar. You can, of course, use a little icing sugar instead or leave it out altogether. Paris Brest’s make a great dessert or a tasty addition to an afternoon tea. They are sure to impress whomever you make them for.
- 90g strong bread flour, sifted
- 90g unsalted butter
- 100ml whole milk
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 45g chopped hazelnuts
- Powdered natural erythritol, to dust (optional)
- For the filling:
- 45g egg yolks, around 3 yolks
- 15g cornflour
- 250ml no-added-sugar apple juice
- 100g roasted hazelnuts
- You will need:
- Baking tray lined with baking parchment; piping bags and a star nozzle
Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. For the choux pastry, sift the flour with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Gently heat the butter, milk and 100ml water in a heavy-based saucepan until melted. Increase the heat and, just as it reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and mix in all the flour at once. Beat with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste is formed. Return the pan to the heat and continue to beat for 2 mins or until it forms a ball and comes away from sides. Set aside to cool for 10 mins.
Gradually beat in the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe 10 rings of choux (draw circles on the reverse side of the parchment to use as a guide). Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts and bake for 20-25 mins.
For the filling, whisk the egg yolks until pale, then add the cornflour. Heat the apple juice in a saucepan, then slowly whisk it into the yolks. Transfer the mixture back to the pan, return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a bowl; put the custard in the fridge to cool.
In a food processor, blitz the roasted hazelnuts into a paste. Remove the apple custard from the fridge and whisk in half the hazelnut paste. Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Put the remaining hazelnut paste in a smaller piping bag.
To assemble, cut the choux rings horizontally through the middle and pipe the filling onto the base. Pipe a ring of hazelnut paste over the filling and add the pastry lid. Dust with powdered erythritol, if desired.
Top tip for making Paris Brest with apple and hazelnut
Choux pastry freezes very well, so these are great to make ahead of time.