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FFwD: Paris-Brest

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie is Paris-Brest, which is a particular Parisan pastry that was created in the olden days (the 1890s) to commemorate the Paris–Brest bicycle race. It’s pâte à choux dough (like for cream puffs or gougères) piped out in circles, baked, sliced in half, and filled with an almond praline vanilla pastry cream. I opted to make a half recipe and instead of one big eight-inch pastry, I made four small ones.

1. I think my pastry tip was on the small side, so I got more pastries than I was expecting.
2. I used English muffins rings to pipe my rings inside of, but I think I could have skipped this. Next time, I’ll try it without and see what happens.
3. I added coffee liqueur to my vanilla pastry cream.
4. Almost all of my sliced almonds fell off the tops of my pastries after baking.
5. I had enough pâte à choux leftover to make two cream puffs.
6. I decided to cover my puffs with melted chocolate and since my almonds mostly fell of the Paris-Brests, I covered two of those with chocolate too. The other two got the powdered sugar.

Check out everyone’s Paris-Brest posts here. As always, all of the French Fridays recipes are in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

FfwD: Paris-Brest pastry

20 comments to FFwD: Paris-Brest

  • Just lovely, Michelle! My almonds fell off, too, so I just sprinkled them on top. But, I love your addition of chocolate!

  • I love your additions and change ups. This dessert really inspires those doesn’t it. I do agree that I think the rings are an unnecessary complication as the puff really doesn’t spread out or lose its shape. I did a light egg wash before sprinkling the almonds and it gave it a nice sheen and helped the almonds stick. Truthfully, I did that without even thinking about it as the one time I saw this made thats what he did. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t in Dorie’s recipe until afterwards but I think it really helped the almond situation.

  • They are so pretty – I LOVE the chocolate coating on those! Thanks for indulging my choice this week!

  • Liz

    Your minis are fabulous!!! I used a ring, too…great idea!

  • I really wish that I had went smaller with the ring – I think that would have made this more manageable.
    My almonds never made it out of the freezer, so you did well to have any almonds on board 🙂

  • Beautiful! I will try using the little rings next time. Thanks.

  • Susan: Thank you!
    trevor: Egg wash = brilliant! 🙂
    Mardi: This was a fun one to make! I’m so glad you chose it!
    Liz: Thank you. I think I saw the idea from Christy’s instagram.
    Cher: It is more manageable at least in terms of saving leftovers, I think. We ate the puffs and one of the rings last night, and now I’m pretty sure we can finish the remaining 3 today! 🙂
    Gracie: Thank you! Funny, everyone who used rings this time will probably try it without next time, and everyone who didn’t, will try it with the rings! 😉

  • nana

    First, that photo of the nuts is fantastic. Everything looks great but I love the chocolate topped ones.

  • Beautiful photos Michelle! Love the fun size of these. Your almonds look delicious!

  • Your pastries look gorgeous, Michelle. You are right. I used rings and I was thinking I’d try without next time. Those almonds were the best part.

  • Wonderful additions and I love the mini brests and oh yes chocolate.

  • Aw, they’re so cute! The chocolate ones look awesome – that’s what I want. Nicely done!

  • Your pastries look delicious! Love the chocolate, I think that was a nice idea. I didn’t actually make them this week, but did post a link to when I made these before.

  • In hindsight I think I’m fortunate to have waited until I return home to Colorado to make this fabulous dessert. There is no one to share it with here. I got so many tips from all of you regarding putting it together. Pastry baking is not my forté so I need all the help I can get. Nice job, Michelle. The addition of chocolate is a great idea.

  • This looks so amazing. I have never had or heard of Paris-Brest so was glad you introduced them and now I’m really craving one… I’m a fan of sweet pastries being small to force some control of how much I eat and it looks so precious and adorable

  • Lovely little minis!! In most of my failed attempts to make a pastry that will rise enough I used the almonds but like yours most of them fell. Then I read another tutorial that used egg wash on the pastry before it went into the oven. I did that and they stayed in place yay!!!

  • Love the minis! There are so many different ways to go with this recipe. I am definitely using a ring next time. My pastry spread out more than up.

  • Renee

    I love that you used chocolate to drizzle on top! Yum!!! Great ideas!

  • Wonderful results you got there; love the chocolate coated ones too! I have not made mine as we were away for a week. Hope to include it with the beef on a string this week!

  • Great additions to this pastry! Lovely photos. I’ve been contemplating some of those English toast rings myself. May have to sneak those in when Sous Chef isn’t looking!