“Talking” to other bloggers on similar forum it looks like this is a scary recipe; preparing the Paris Brest can be quite daunting as the core of the recipe is Choux pastry which can be a hell of a pastry; the secrets for a good choux pastry are in the steps you follow when you prepare it, follow these below, which are fail-proof:
- 1/4 cup of slivered almonds, toasted until golden and set aside.
- 2/3 cup of unsalted butter
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, sifted twice (I am adamant you sift the flour twice)
- 1½ cups water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (real chef will horrify now, but trust me on this)
- 4 whole organic eggs
- 250 ml whipped cream
- 5 Tbsp icing sugar
- little honey
Melt the butter with 1½ cups water in a saucepan, then bring it to a rolling boil. Mix the flour and salt together.
Remove from the heat, add all the flour mix at once (do not hesitate, the flour has to hit the boiling water/butter at once).
Return to the heat and beat continuously with a wooden spoon to make a smooth shiny paste that comes away from the side of the pan. Cool in a mixing bowl (I use that of the Kitchen Aid) for few minutes.
Add in the sugar (3 Tbsp) and the cream of tartar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until shiny and smooth. The mixture should drop off the spoon but not be too runny, the colour should now be pale yellow (custard like).
Heat oven to 200’C (400°F).
Put the choux pastry in a pastry bag with a ¾ inch wide tip.
Draw an 8-inch circle on the back of a piece of parchment paper in a dark pen so that the circle shows through on the other side. Put the paper on a wet baking sheet (it will ease the piping process), pen side down.
Pipe a ring of pastry over the guide. Then, pipe another ring of pastry directly INSIDE the first one so that you have a thick ring.
Pipe another two circles on top of the first two and continue building up, until all the pastry has been used.
Bake the ring for 20-30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack.
Immediately slice the ring in half horizontally, making the base twice as deep as the top. Take off the top and scoop out any uncooked pastry from the base. Allow to cool completely. Spoon theinto the bottom of the choux pastry ring and cover with the top.
Brush the ring with the honey and sprinkle the toasted almonds on top (discard those that will not stick to the surface).