Another drizzly day today sob*. Instead of the vitamins Vancouverites should be in taking every day, we have been getting daily douses of rain ha ha…pretty soon we will be strong and healthy with drenched in rain :) Not to fear the pastry whisk is here as I have finally found in a drawer.
To stave off absolute boredom while looking out at the grim grey wet sky, I decided to bake again. I recently obtained a copy of La Patisserie des Reves by Conticini. Another beautiful book with the Paris Brest and Gateau St. Honore as show stoppers. His pastries has always grabbed my attention, thus as the first project from this cookbook was the Paris Brest. Conticini’s choux paste pasteries were quite unique; he pipped out individual cream puffs to form a circle for the Brest.
To make the Paris Brest, I first made the choux paste.
Keys for Choux Paste
-Bring the butter/water mixture to a boil first prior to adding in the flour
-Cook the flour/butter/water mixture on the heat until it forms a ball and as a tip watch for the browning on the bottom of the pan. Reasoning one wants to get the water to boil off as much as possible to add in the optimal amount of eggs for leavening
-Don’t stir the flour/butter/water mixture constantly or the batter will becoming oily
-Once the flour/butter/water mixture forms a ball, take off heat and cool
-Add in eggs one at a time.
-place in fridge prior to baking and spray with water for steam. The steam helps the choux rise in the oven.
-Bake at a higher temperature first and then gradually decrease it to dry out the pastries
Next I made the streusel crust, rolled it out and cut into discs.
Once out of the oven, I cooled the paris brest.
The Hazelnut Mousse was the last step. To make the mousse, I first melted some homemade Gianduja. Next I whipped out some cream and folded in the Gianduja. When the mousse was ready, it was pipped into the choux. Icing sugar was lightly dusted ontop and voila!!!
Streusel Pastry Crust (Conticini)
40 g butter
50 g flour
50 g brown sugar
pinch of salt
Choux Paste (Keller)
175 g flour
33 g sugar
water 240 g
unsalted butter 120 g
salt 2.5 g
The result was fantastic. It naturally places a different spin on a classic. The hazelnut mousse complimented the choux paste quite nice. The idea of a separate choux Paris Brest was a good idea as it could be eaten wholely or separated. It is definitely a keeper. Bon Appetit!!!