113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (save to make the filling)
To Make the Paris Brests
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large medium sized pot, add water, milk, butter, salt, and powdered sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, add flour, and stir quickly. Return pot to heat and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat to remove flour taste, stirring constantly.
Remove dough from heat and pour dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Turn the mixer onto low and mix for 3 minutes to begin cooling down the dough.
Turn the mixer up to a 3 on a 10 speed mixer, scramble the eggs with a fork, and begin adding them a little at a time. The pate a choux may curdle a little with each addition, but the dough will come back together. You know you’ve added enough egg you lift the paddle out of the bowl and the choux dough forms a long v on the end of the paddle.
Pipe the pate a choux into 3 inch rings with a French star tip, spacing them 2 inches apart. Dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle with sliced almonds on top.
Place the pan in the oven bake for 35-40 minutes, or until choux rings are golden brown and crisp.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a couple of hours or longer so that they can fully dry out on the inside.
To Make the Pastry Cream
Combine milk and 1/2 of sugar in a medium pot. Cook on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
While the milk is coming to a simmer, combine the remaining sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and egg yolks; whisk until smooth.
Once milk is simmering, slowly pour half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly so that the eggs won’t scramble.
Return mixture to pot and place on medium high heat, whisking quickly so the pastry cream doesn’t burn. After a minute or two, the pastry cream will boil and thicken to a consistency similar to pudding. Continue to stir for one minute after it begins to boil so that the cornstarch taste disappears.
Remove from stove immediately and add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter fully melts and blends in.
As an optional step, you can put the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer to make sure no egg bits remain. This step is optional but recommended for super smooth pastry cream.
Transfer the pastry cream to a clean storage container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream so that it does not form a “skin.” Chill the pastry cream for at least 2 hours. Pastry cream can be made a few days ahead as well if desired.
While the pastry cream is chilling, make the praline paste.
For the Almond Praline Paste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat and spread almond out flat.
Bake for 8-10 minutes so that the nuts release their oils and being to toast.
In a large pan, add the sugar and turn the burner onto medium or medium low heat. Do not stir the sugar. Cook the sugar until it begins to melt, then gently swirl the sugar around so that the unmelted sugar absorbs into the liquid sugar.
This will take some time, about 10 minutes. Once the sugar is completely melted and turns into caramel that is the color of a brown paper bag, pour over the almonds and allow to cool.
Once cool, break the caramel and almonds up and place in a blender. Blend until the nuts and caramel form into a smooth paste. You will most likely need to stop the blender a few times to stir the paste. It gets compacted when it’s dry, but then it churns easily once it liquifies. Also, if your blender begins to get too hot, stop the blender and allow it to rest for a few minutes before resuming.
Pour the paste into a jar and refrigerate to cool it down completely for at least an hour.
To Assemble the Paris Brest with Almond Praline Creme
First, make the almond praline creme. To do this, combine the butter and 160 g of the praline ( ou will need to measure out the amount) in a stand mixer and mix with a paddle attachment until smooth.
Switch to a whisk attachment and add the pastry cream. Whip until light and creamy.
Next, cut the choux rings in half horizontally. Pour the almond praline creme into a piping bag fitted with a French star tip. Pipe the cream into the bottom halves of the rings and top with the top halves.
Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy. I also like to refrigerate the filled choux rings for about an hour before serving them to make sure the pastry cream is nice and cold, but this is completely optional.
Paris Brests are best served the same day they are made. If preparing ahead, don’t assemble until the day you need them. You can crisp the choux rings in the oven for 10 minutes if needed, and then fill.
Keywords: paris brest, pastry cream, almond praline creme