It's been a while: Paris-Brest


It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Not on purpose, but life got in the way since July. A big project for my full-time job is now complete, the weather has cooled down, and I am ready to spend hours this Fall in front of the oven again.

What have you missed? Not much, I would say. The arc of our lives moves steadily towards the Big Day. Planning has officially commenced and I sit in bed and think of all the small bits of who we are will be imbued into the ceremony. I am excited.

I do not know where the days have went. I couldn’t tell you if i tried. It seems like the transitionary months of August and September are always a blur. I can’t remember if I went anywhere or did anything noteworthy. I can only think of October. My birthday. A spa day we enjoyed. Dinner after with my family. I can only think of jam making this weekend. I can only think of rain, my favorite season. I can only think of the dogs, with their muddy paws and beaming smiles. I can only think of the immediate needs of my life. Anything else will have to wait.

Which is a long-winded way of saying - I did not have time for the blog lately. But that’s changing again, thankfully.

And to celebrate my return to blogging again, here is a recipe I hope you enjoy: A Paris-Brest. Choux circles filled with cream, topped with almonds and served chilled. Delicious and messy, just like life right now.

Made extremely easy using a pudding packet. I was going to go a more traditional route, but this worked too perfectly for me and was equally delicious and rich in flavor. You can sub the mascarpone below for a buttercream, but expect it to be stiffer and sweeter.

Paris Brest

Directions for Pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F

  2. On parchment paper, draw two identical 8 inch circles (I used a plate)

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat water, milk, butter, and salt on high until butter is melted and bubbles begin forming around the rim, stirring occasionally

  4. Turn off heat and stir in flour with a wooden spoon

  5. Let cool for 5 minutes until slightly cooled

  6. With a whisk or wooden spoon, beat in eggs, one at a time until dough is glossy and pale yellow

  7. Transfer to a piping bag, fitted with a 1/2 inch tip

  8. Pipe dough onto circles

  9. Tap on table

  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until puffed and golden

  11. Prick with a sharp knife and put back in the oven (turned off, door open)

  12. While cooling, finish preparation and decoration using the instructions below

  13. Cream and Preparation Instructions: When pastry shells are cooling, whip together 8 oz mascarpone with one vanilla pudding packet (yes, I know). Add 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

    Top one disk with cream. Lay other shell on top. Sift confectioner’s sugar and sliced almonds on top. Enjoy for up to 2 days (refrigerated)

Ingredients for Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 stick butter, unsalted

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup AP cake flour

  • 4 eggs