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The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from
Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a
beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.
This month’s challenge took us to France for the Paris to Brest bicycle race….well not literally but in spirit! The traditional filling is a Crème Mousseline but I decided to give my favourite Creme Patissierie the praline twist with delicous results. Thanks to our great host, Luisa for choosing this delicous delight!

Paris Brest

Choux Pastry
3/4 cup water
60g butter
pinch salt
3/4 cup plain flour
3 eggs
In a saucepan bring to boil water, butter and salt. Once boiling and the butter is melted add, all at once, the flour. Stir until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. Allow to cool to lukewarm and transfer into a stand mixer. With the mixer on low add one egg in at a time. Don’t add the next egg in until the first one is incorporated into the mixture. Pipe mixture into rings about 6 or 7 cm in diameter. I got 12 out of the mixture

Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 10 minutes then lower to 200C for another 10 to 15 minutes until well browned and dry. These can be baked ahead of time and store in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. They take a minute to defrost.

Creme Patissierie
600ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a vanilla pod, split
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
40g plain flour
40g cornflour (cornstarch)
2 or 3 tablespoons Amaretto
250ml cream, whipped
100g praline (recipe below)
Warm 500ml of the milk with the vanilla. Mix the remaining 100ml milk with the sugar, egg yolks, flour and cornflour. Slowly add the warmed milk and whisk to combine. Strain back into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil whisking all the while. Once the mixture comes to the boil allow it to boil for a minute or two. Remove from heat and mix in the amaretto. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap in complete contact with the creme patissierie and allow to cool. Once cool and ready to use beat to soften then fold in the whipped cream and the praline.
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) whole almonds
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) whole hazelnuts ( I only had ground hazelnuts)
6 tablespoons (2¾ oz) (80 gm) caster sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (to help stop crystallization)
Place sugar, water and vinegar in a small pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil. Boil until the water evaporates and the sugar becomes golden. Add the nuts, stir quickly and tip onto nonstick baking paper.

Press to flatten and allow to cool.

Once cool and hard break it up and blend to crush in a food processor.

Split cooled pastries in half and fill with praline creme patisserie.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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