For ages now i have been obsessed with Edd Kimbers Instagram - theboywhobakes.
He was the winner of the first series of The Great British Bake Off and his pictures are to die for. I had also read an article he had written in the newest edition of the good food magazine which at the bottom referenced his own book - Patisserie Made Simple.
So this weekend i went and purchased it to add to my growing collection of cook books.
All the recipes inside are classic french patisserie and look super yummy, also if like me you are still learning there is a brilliant part at the back which helps with all the basics you need for the recipes in the book. For example, a basic macaron recipe and how to make creme patisserie and pastry types.
The thing that caught my eye in the book were the Paris-Brest, i had seen them being made on an episode of Great British Bake Off and me and my mum both thought they looked so good!
So thats what I've spent my morning doing.
The pastry is named after the Paris to Brest bike race and was created in 1891 by a pastry chef who wanted to design a pastry to celebrate the race that went by his shop.
Pâte à choux
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 40g plain flour
- 45g strong white bread flour
- 2-3 large eggs
- 1 beaten egg
- 50g flaked almonds
- icing sugar for dusting
- 150g blanched hazelnuts
- 150g caster sugar
- pinch of flaked sea salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 500ml whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 200g caster sugar
- 75g cornflour
- 250g unsalted butter
- To make the crème mousseline, put the vanilla bean paste and the milk into a saucepan. Put over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, put the eggs and egg yolks into a bowl and add the sugar and cornflour, then whisk until smooth. Pour over the boiling milk, whisk constantly until combined. Return the mixture to the pan and over the heat and whisk constantly until thickened. Cooking for a few minutes extra to remove the taste of the cornflour.
- Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and add half the butter, stirring to combine. Press a piece of clingfilm onto the surface of the custard, cool and then put in the fridge for 2-3 hours until chilled.
- To make the praline paste preheat the oven to 180ºc / 160º c fan / gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Put the nuts onto the tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until brown and fragrant. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cook the sugar. Here you can leave your oven on ready for the pastry or turn it off and then reheat.
- Put the sugar into a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and is a dark amber colour. Be careful as it can burn very quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel over the nuts, then leave to set.
- Once cooled, break into chunks and put them into a food processor. Pulse until chunks are broken down a little then process until smooth. If you are worried about your food processor over heating, stop and wait 10 minutes then continues until you have a smooth paste.
- Next pre heat your oven again to 180ºc / 160º c fan / gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Using a 8cm cookie cutter draw 4 rings onto the back of each piece of parchment and set aside ready for your pastry.
- To make the choux, put the butter salt and sugar and 120ml water into a medium pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is at a rolling boil, add the flour and quickly stir together with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough.
- With the pan still on the heat, stir the dough vigorously for 2 minutes, then tip the dough into a bowl and beat until it stops steaming. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully combined before adding the next. Depending on the flour used and how much water evaporated as you made the dough, the choux pastry will need varying amounts of egg. It is best to add the eggs slowly and check the texture of the dough after each addition. You are looking for a dough that has a shine and when it is lifted from the bowl it should fall from the spatula in a 'v' shape.
- Transfer the choux pastry to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip ( known as a french star tip). Pipe the choux into rings on the lined baking trays using the circle template that were made earlier.
- Brush the choux pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To finish the creme mousseline, remove from the fridge and beat the remaining butter in a separate bowl until light a fluffy. Add a quarter of the pastry cream at a time into the butter and beat until combined between each quarter. Add the praline paste and mix until combined.
- To assemble the pastries, use a serrated knife to slice horizontally through the centre of the choux rings. Transfer the mousseline to a piping bag with a large star top and pipe the cream onto the base of the pastries. Place the choux ring tops back onto of the cream and lightly dust with icing sugar to serve.
The pastry rings along will keep for 2 days in an airtight container. The filling can be made and kept in the fridge for unto 1 week in advance.