That most luscious of pastries, the Paris-Brest. This isn’t authentic because it has no praline in the pastry cream, but I had to make a nut-free version, so…

I made a double batch of the pastry to make 12 Paris-Brests, filling half with dark chocolate pastry cream and half with vanilla pastry cream. Both were utterly divine!


Makes 12
1 hour for pastries, plus cooling
10 minutes for each pastry cream, plus chilling

Pâte à choux

240ml (1 cup) water
115g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp granulated (white) sugar
pinch salt
125g (1 cup, spooned and levelled) all purpose (plain) flour
4 large eggs, room temperature


Preheat oven 220°C (430°F) (bottom-only heat) and line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium, heavy based saucepan, bring the water, butter and sugar to a simmer on medium heat. Whisk the salt into the flour, add to the pot all at once and with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir very quickly in one direction until a dough forms. Keep stirring to cook off some of the moisture for another minute or two.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the eggs one at a time mixing on medium-high speed until each is combined into the dough. Keep beating until it is glossy, smooth, and somewhat thick, about 3 minutes.

Spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (you may need to do this in 2 batches) and pipe 12 rings, each about 9cm (3 1/2″) across, going around three times, onto the baking sheets. Use a damp fingertip to smooth any pointed tops.

Bake in centre and lower third of oven for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 200°C (390°F) and bake a further 40 minutes, until puffed, crisp and deep golden. Reduce the heat to 180°C (360°F), swap the trays and and bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes if there are any yellow patches around the inside or bottom edge. Remember that ovens vary, so be watchful.

When done, turn the oven off and leave door ajar for 30 minutes.

Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before assembling.

Chocolate Crème Pâtissière (enough for 6 pastries)

240ml (1 cup) whole milk
65g (1/3 cup) granulated (white) sugar
100g (7 oz) good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 Tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature


Combine the milk, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan, bring to boil stirring constantly until the chocolate has melted, then remove from heat.

Whisk the whole egg and the yolks together until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the flour until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

Bring the remaining milk back to the boil and pour in the hot egg mixture in a slow stream while continuously whisking.

Continue whisking until the cream thickens, just a few minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer cream to a stainless steel or ceramic bowl, press plastic wrap snugly against the surface, and chill until ready to use.

Vanilla Crème Pâtissière (enough for 6 pastries)

240ml (1 cup) whole milk
75g (6 Tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose (plain) flour
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
115g butter (1/2 cup or 1 stick)) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine milk with the sugar in a small to medium heavy based saucepan on medium-low heat, bring to the boil, whisking occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin on top or scald on the bottom, and remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg and egg yolks together with the flour. Pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (this tempers the eggs so they don’t cook before they are mixed into the custard).

Return saucepan to low heat and pour the hot egg mixture back into the milk in a stream while continuously whisking.

Continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into a stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use.


Transfer the crème pâtissière to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Slice each pastry in half crosswise and pipe a generous ring of pastry cream into it, then replace the top.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


This entry was posted in cake, dessert, french, pastry, pudding, sweet. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Paris-brest

  1. Mmmmmmmhhhhhh lovely take on my recipe 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    Rachel, the both sound fantastic, chocolate or vanilla. Nice!

  3. Zaza says:

    Beautiful Paris-Brest! They look so good!

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