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All About the Paris Brest and Why it is So Famous

If you have a sweet tooth, you know that Paris is home to some of the finest and most delectable pastries. One of the most delicious of these pastries is the Paris Brest, and if you’ve never tried one, you may be missing out! Elected best pastry in Paris, this delicacy is typically made of choux pastry and filled with a praline flavored crème.

Find out more about this dessert, including the story of its shape, how to make it and why so many people love it.

what shape is a pastry paris brest and why is it that shape

How this Particular Pastry Got its Circular Shape

Although many compare it to an éclair when considering its taste, one major difference is the circular shape. The pastry, which was created by patissier Louis Durand in 1910, pays homage to the Paris Brest bicycle race symbolizing the wheels. The pastry was crafted at the request of journalist and sports organizer Pierre Giffard. Its high caloric value was supposed to provide energy to racers prior to the long leg between Paname and Brest.

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How to Make this Yummy

Patisserie

There are various recipes online and even baking classes for those interested in creating an at-home version of the pastry, along with some macarons maybe, to impress their families or guests. Here is an overview of what the recipe entails:

  • Praline Filling: To give the filling its nutty flavor, toasted hazelnuts and peeled almonds are caramelized. Pralines are pureed and set aside for garnish.
  • Cream Filling: The milk is simmered and then combined with yolk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Butter and vanilla are then added and the mixture is set aside to chill. This will produce a heavy consistency. Ingredients are then beat with a mixer. Pureed pralines, hazelnut mixture, and chantilly are then added.
  • Pastry: The last step in making the Paris Brest is preparing the pastry. Water is boiled with sugar and butter is added. After boiling point is reached, flour and eggs are added. The dough is then put into a pastry bag in order to pipe concentric circles onto a pastry sheet which is then brushed with egg wash, almonds, and sprinkled with sucre glace. The pastry is then baked and cooled. Finally, it is halved with a serrated knife and filling is inserted.

Techniques for baking it are various and if you don't have baking beans, you can use peas or other available replacements instead.

Why Everyone Loves It

This signature french food provides a melt in your mouth sensation that is best experienced rather than described. But once you taste its light, frothy praline cream and its rich intense liquid center, you will understand what all the fuss is about. Not to mention when patissiers go over the top and propose a chocolate praline filling. Now that you know more about this pastry’s history and how to make it, we hope you will not hesitate to try serving it to your friends and family to see their reactions!

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