Paris-Brest is basically an éclair in the shape of a giant donut, made of light and crispy choux pastry, filled with hazelnut pastry cream, and dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a French delight!
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For the Pastry Wreath
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg for egg wash
For Filling and Decorating
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
- Pastry Cream
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1 ) Male the pastry wreath: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trace a 9-inch
circle onto a sheet of parchment. Flip parchment, making sure pencil
mark is still visible, and place on a baking sheet.
2 ) In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar,
salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from
heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in the flour until combined.
3 ) Return pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring vigorously, until
mixture pulls away from the sides and a film forms on the bottom of
the pan, about 3 minutes.
4 ) Remove from heat and transfer contents to a bowl to cool slightly,
about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after
each addition, and waiting until each is entirely incorporated before
adding the next egg. Use immediately.
5 ) Transfer pate a choux dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch
plain round tip. Pipe a tiny dot under each corner of the parchment,
pressing to adhere parchment to the baking sheet. Then pipe dough,
tracing the outline, into sixteen 1 3/4-inch mounds, holding the pastry bag
upright and keeping pressure consistent.
6 ) Whisk the remaining egg with a pinch of salt. Brush egg over the top of pastry
7 ) Bake until pastry just starts to puff, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven
temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until pastry is fully puffed and
golden brown, about 30 minutes.
8 ) Turn the oven off, remove the wreath, and pierce the top and sides about 8 times
using the tip of a sharp knife to release steam. Return to the oven, and
prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Let stand for 1 hour to dry.
9 ) Transfer the pastry wreath on parchment to a wire rack. Let cool
10 ) Fill and decorate the pastry wreath: Whisk heavy cream,
confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Separate the pastry
wreath into top and bottom halves using a serrated knife.
11 ) Spread about 1 1/2 cups of pastry cream over the bottom ring. Pipe whipped
cream in a swirl using a 1/2-inch closed star tip. Reposition the top pieces
of pastry wreath over the filling. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.