A doughnut-shaped dessert constructed mainly of choux pastry and praline cream, the Paris-Brest is a French classic for the sweet-toothed that has offered many a variation over the years. Our recipe here keeps to the recognisable almond top and cream mousseline, but adds a pop of sweetness with plum and velvety buzz with chocolate.
- 2 tbsps cornflour (cornstarch)
- 2 tbsps custard powder
- ¼ cup (55 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1¼ cups (310 ml) thickened cream
- ¾ cup (180 ml) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 15 g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ cup (180 ml) thickened cream, extra
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- 60 gram butter
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- ⅔ cup (100 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 3 eggs
- 90 g dark eating (semi-sweet)chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup (20 g) flaked almonds, roasted
- 8 (275 g), drained canned plums, chopped coarsely
Make vanilla custard cream; combine cornflour, custard powder and sugar in a medium saucepan. Gradually add combined cream, milk and extract; stir over low heat until mixture boils and thickens. Add butter; simmer, stirring, 3 mins. Remove from heat; stir in egg yolk. Place custard in a medium bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap, cool. Beat extra cream in a small bowl with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Whisk custard until smooth; fold in whipped cream.
Preheat oven to 220 C. Grease oven trays.
To make choux pastry, combine the water, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil. Add flour, beat with a wooden spoon over heat until mixture comes away from base of pan. Transfer pastry to a medium bowl; beat in eggs, one at a time with an electric mixer until pastry becomes smooth and glossy but will hold its shape.
Spoon pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cmplain tube; pipe 5 cm rings, about 5 cm apart on trays.
Bake 10 mins. Reduce oven to 180 C; bake a further 15 mins. Using a serrated knife, split rings in half, remove any soft centres; return to trays, bake further 5 mins or until pastry rings are dry. Cool on trays.
Place chocolate and oil in a small heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, stirring, until melted. Spread pastry tops with chocolate, sprinkle with nuts. Stand until chocolate is set.
Spoon custard cream into a piping bag fitted with a 2 cm fluted tube. Pipe custard cream on to pastry bases; top with plums. Top with pastry tops.
TIP You need half a 1 kg can plums for this recipe. You can use fresh plums when in season. Fill pastries up to an hour before serving.