They say in bicycling, that when you fall off your bike, you get back on and ride again. That’s exactly what I did this week with this Paris Brest for French Fridays with Dorie. Hence, my Friday post became a Saturday post!
This circular pastry was created in 1891 to commemorate the Paris–Brest bicycle race. Its shape is representative of a wheel- and I am thinking the almonds must be the little, sharp pebbles that you ride over that deflates your tire. My first choux pastry arrived out of the oven only slightly puffed. And it fell flatter than a pancake as it cooled. The éclairs I made with the left over dough were impeccable though! I don’t know exactly what went wrong but I have an idea.
Regardless, there was absolutely no way to slice it horizontally, and I thought of cutting it vertically in half and using one side of the circle for the top and one for bottom but decided a semi circle just would not do. So I made the dough again. This time, the second time was the charm.
I believe the key is to begin with a super hot oven. The higher heat gives the pastry a crust and once the crust forms and puffs up, this crust is what helps the pastry keep its inflated shape. So when making this, keep that in mind.
Filled with pastry cream that has been infused with caramelized almonds, topped with more almonds and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, this Paris Brest, is a truly delightful and delicious treat. And I am even eating my mistake. Not a bad deal at all. But I actually should get on a bike after that!
While I cannot share the actual recipe, you can (and should!) buy the book and cook along with us. It’s great fun! Every Friday we make a new recipe. Looking forward to next weeks! For details and to see how others are recreating the dishes from this awesome book, check out the FFWD site.
Buy the book: