Paris-Brest puffs

Hi everyone! Today’s recipe is a very famous recipe that comes from France, the Paris-Brest. Paris and Brest are two towns in France and this pastry was created to celebrate the cycle road race between those two towns, that’s why this dessert is in the shape of a wheel. However, I’ve decided to change the shape and make Paris-Brest puffs. The puffs are made up of a crunchy choux pastry filled with a praline cream and pure praline in the middle. The recipe comes from Philippe Conticini, one of the most famous French pastry Chef.

For 20 puffs of 5cm diameter:

Choux pastry:

  • 125mL of water
  • 5g of sugar
  • 60g of butter
  • 80g of flour
  • 125g of eggs (=2,5 eggs)
  • 2g of salt

The cracker (these quantities give 28 crackers, you can freeze the surplus and use them another time)

  • 50g of flour
  • 50g of sugar
  • 40g of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt

The praline cream:

  • 600g of semi-skimmed milk
  • 155g of egg yolks (7,5)
  • 115g of sugar (or honey)
  • 60g of corn starch
  • 180g of praline
  • 269g of butter
  • 4g of powdered gelatin*

*In the original recipe, he recommends 7,7g of gelatin, but with this amount the cream is too compact, 4g is enough.

The praline (for 250g):

  • 125g of almonds
  • 125g of hazelnuts
  • 166g of sugar
  • 40g of water
  • 1,5 pinches of salt

Let’s begin with the cracker:

1. Cream the softened butter with the sugar. Take out your butter from the fridge at least one hour before beginning, it will be easier.

2. Add the flour and the salt. Stir until it forms a nice ball.

3. Roll out the ball between two parchment papers to a 2mm maximum thickness. (careful not to roll out too thin because it will burn in the oven before the puffs are cooked).


4. Cut circles of 4cm diameter. Take the scraps and roll out again. If the cracker is too soft to work with, refrigerate a few minutes. When you’ve cut all your circles, refrigerate until use or freeze them if you make them in advance.

For the choux pastry:

1. In a saucepan, put the water, the butter cut into pieces, the sugar and the salt. Bring to boil over medium heat. The butter should have melted before it boils.

2. Remove from the heat and add the sifted flour in one time. Stir until it is incorporated.

3. Put it back on low heat and stir for a few minutes to eliminate the moisture of the dough. It’s ready when the dough is smooth and forms a ball that doesn’t separate into chunks.


4. Put the dough in another container and let it cool for a few minutes. Add the eggs, previously beaten, little by little. You can use a spatula or the flat beater of a stand mixer. To know if you’ve added enough eggs, take a bit of paste with your spatula and it should form a smooth and shiny collar. You can also trace a line in the dough with the back of your spatula, if it closes slowly, it’s perfect. If it doesn’t close you must add a bit more eggs.

5. Put your paste in a pastry bag with a plain nozzle and pip circles of 4cm diameter. Add the cracker on top of it.

6. Cook for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C (fan-assisted if possible, otherwise, normal). During the first 20 minutes, don’t open the oven door, because it will make your puffs fall down. After 20 minutes, you can check if they are cooked, the dough and the crackers should have a nice golden color without any white spots. If you have time, reduce the oven temperature to 140°C and let the puffs inside for 15 to 20 minutes. This will dry them a bit and they will stay crunchy even after filling them with the cream.

Now for the praline:

1. Roast the hazelnuts and the almonds 10-15min in a 150°C preheated oven.

2. In a saucepan heat the sugar and the water over medium heat until it reaches 116°C.

3. Add the hazelnuts and almonds and mix. A thin layer of white sugar is going to coat the nuts.

4. Keep mixing until all the white sugar caramelizes. You can reduce the heat if needed.


5. Once everything has a nice golden color, place it in a pan covered with parchment paper and let it cool down.

6. Put the caramelized nuts in a food processor and mix until it turns into a liquid and smooth paste. This can take more or less time depending on the power of your food processor, I suggest you mix by 5/10s-interval so your food processor doesn’t get damaged.

7. Add the salt and keep it in a jar in the fridge.

Last preparation, the praline cream:

1. Hydrate the powdered gelatin in 6 times its weight in cold water, so in 24g.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar (or honey) until it slightly whitens. Add the corn starch.

3. Bring to simmering point the milk and pour it in three times over the egg mixture. Mix and then return everything to the saucepan.

4. Cook over medium heat until it thickens and boils.

5. Off the heat add the hydrated gelatin, and 180g of praline (the rest of the praline will be used later). Finish by adding the cold butter cut into pieces and whisk vigorously. You can also mix the cream using a hand blender.

6. Place the cream in a dish and wrap with cling film (the film must touch the surface). Refrigerate minimum 1h (it’s better to make it the day before).

It’s time to assemble everything!

1. Take the cream out of the fridge and whip it at maximum speed for 3min to incorporate a lot of air and make it super light. Place it in a pastry bag with a plain nozzle.

2. Cut the top of the puffs.


3. Fill generously the puffs with the praline cream (I put ~60g per puff).

4. Place the rest of the praline in a pastry bag and pip a bit in the center of the cream until you see it swelling.

5. Cover the puff and sprinkle it with icing sugar.

Your delicious Paris-Brest puffs are ready! Bon appétit!

Don’t forget to write an email to to share your pictures of the recipe and your opinions! I will add them at the bottom of this article.

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