Besides the Tour de France, every four years France holds a 1200 kilometer bicycle race that goes from Paris to Brest and back to Paris (commonly known as “PBP”). The same year that the race began, a pastry chef along the bicycle route decided to make a celebration cake called Paris-Brest, to honor the race. It consisted of a circle of choux pastry, filled with whipped cream, that was meant to resemble a bicycle wheel. We have prepared it as our valentine cake and replaced whipped with delicious choclate cream from Roger Van Damme.
Preparation time 60 minutes .. Baking 20 minutes
- 1 yolk
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- powder sugar
Prepare the dough as described in the recipe from the link.
Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitted with a large plain tip (#4). Pipe a 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick ring of dough just inside the 8 inch circle that is drawn on the parchment paper. Pipe another 1 inch (2,54 cm) thick ring inside the first ring, making sure the rings of dough are touching. Pipe a final ring of dough on top, along the center seam between the first two rings of dough. Then, with moistened fingertips, gently smooth the rings of dough. In a small cup, beat together the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze on the top and sides of the dough. Sprinkle with the shaved almonds.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for a further 35 to 45 minutes or until the Paris Brest is a golden brown color, puffed, and crisp. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shell dry out for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Now prepare the cream.
To Assemble: Split the pastry shell in half horizontally and remove any wet pieces of dough. Then spoon (or pipe) the whipped cream into the hollow center of the shell. Place the top half of the pastry shell on the whipped cream and dust with powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar.
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