[CAPITAL FOOD] PARIS | FRANCE

Éclair Paris-Brest

 

Created by a patissier in 1891 to celebrate the Paris-Brest cycle race, this giant éclair is the one that all others compare to, more so because of the filling – the piece de resistance of any éclair.

The filling in the Paris-Brest has evolved over the years to include elaborate layers.

This is an adaptation of the original recipe.

Choux Pastry
250 g (5) eggs, beaten
200 ml water
180 g strong white flour
125 ml milk
100 g almonds, shredded
100 g butter, cubed small
1 egg, for glaze
5g sugar
Salt, large pinch

Toast almonds in a 200°C oven for 15 minutes, until they turn golden.

Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan, add the milk, butter and salt and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from heat.

Add the flour and quicky stir into the liquid with a wooden spoon.

Put the saucepan over a low heat, stirring for several minutes to dry and thicken the dough.

When the dough is compact, add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Put this choux dough in a piping bag with a 15 mm nozzle, and pipe two fat rings 18 cm in diameter.

Glaze rings with egg, sprinkle tops with almonds.

Bake in a 200°C oven for 35 minutes, allow to cool in oven with the door open.

Filling 1 - Vanilla Custard
500 ml milk
4 eggs
175 g sugar
60 g flour
15 g butter
1 gelatine leaf
1 vanilla pod, split along length
Salt, pinch
Cold water

Soften the gelatine in cold water for five minutes.

Boil the milk with vanilla halves.

Whisk eggs and sugar, loosen with two ladles of hot milk. Strain remaining milk into bowl, discarding the vanilla.

Pour mixture into a large saucepan.

Whisk flour into mixture, increasing heat to thicken it.

Add gelatine. Reduce heat and stir until the gelatine dissolves and the mixture is creamy with the consistency of custard. Leave to cool.

Filling 2 - Butter Cream
12 eggs
800 g butter, creamed
400 ml milk
400 g sugar
160 g praline

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl.

Place bowl in a bain-marie, add milk and beat until mixture cools. Then blend in the creamed butter.

Decorations
250 g chantilly cream
50 g carmelised hazelnuts

Carmelise hazelnuts in 50 g brown sugar in a heavy-based saucepan, remove and cool on a rack.

 

Now the Assembly.

Cut choux rings in half horizontally, fill one ring with vanilla custard, the other with butter cream, reseal and garnish with chantilly cream and carmelised hazelnuts.

Cool in fridge before cutting.


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