Paris Brest by Conticini

Paris Brest_001

If you’re a pastry fan, you must certainly know about Philippe Conticini. He’s the star of the moment in the baking community. All his cooking books are best sellers. He’s the founder of the renown Patisserie des Rêves – the pastry shops where you can buy his creations including the Paris Brest that is said to be the best of Paris. This Conticini-like Paris Brest recipe is adapted by Mercotte – a famous cooking blogger – for The Best Pastry Chef TV show.

I confess I totally missed the first chou pastry batch that was all flat. This was because the dough wasn’t dry enough. I detail this important step in the following recipe. Also, note, it is easier making small chou pastry than big ones to begin. So I’ll recommend starting small :).

Paris Brest by Conticini 

Ingredients (1 big crown of 8 chou pastry or 3-4 small crowns of 6)

Crust

  • 40g/1,4oz butter at temperature
  • 50g/1,8oz brown sugar
  • 50g/1,8oz flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

Chou pastry

  • 125g/4,4oz water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 60g/2,1oz of butter
  • 80g/2,8oz flour
  • 125g/4,4oz eggs

Praline mousseline cream

  • 1/4l/8,3fl.oz whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 50g/1,8oz sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10g/0,35oz flour
  • 10g/0,35oz corn flour
  • 150g/5,3oz butter
  • 75g/2,7oz praline

The recipe

Crust. In a robot or a bowl, mix all the ingredients. Spread it between two sheets of parchment paper to about 3-4mm/1/8 inch thickness. Cut 3-4cm/1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter circles for big choux and 1-2cm/1/2 to 3/4 inch for small ones. Store in the fridge.

Chou pastry. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Boil the water, butter, salt and sugar. Remove from heat and add the all the flour at once. Mix it well and heat again at low heat. Continue to heat while mixing with a spatula for few minutes until the dough is dry enough and forms like a ball – the recipe indicates 2 minutes, I did more like a 4-5 minutes the second time to get it right. Put the dough in a bowl. Leave to cool a bit. Add the beaten eggs (like for an omelette) and mix it well. Use a pastry bag fitted with a 1 to 1.5cm-diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the chou pastry onto the baking tray. Pipe 4cm/1 1/2inch diameter balls for a big crown and 2cm/3/4inch for a small crowns leaving a half centimeter between big chou pastry and no space between small ones. Add the crust on top. Cook for 35-40 minutes without opening the oven. Leave to cool at room temperature.

Paris Brest cooking_001

Praline mousseline cream. In a bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks. Add the flours. Boil the milk with grated vanilla pod. Pour half the milk on the egg yolks and mix. Pour again in the saucepan. Cook on low heat for few more minutes mixing continuously until it thickens. That is your pastry cream. Pour in a bowl and film. Keep to cool at room temperature. In a bowl or a robot, mix the butter at temperature and praline. Add the pastry cream little by little and mix gently.

Dressing. Cut the crown crosswise. Pipe some cream in each profiterole. Optional, pipe some pure praline in the middle for the gourmet. Close the crown with the top. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top.

Paris Brest_002

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