Who knew that a bike race from Paris to Brest, France could be so deliciously inspirational? CSL’s variation, pistachios instead of hazelnuts, adds a sweet, unique flavour with an extra pop of eye catching green.
Paris Brest Choux Pastry
Crisp and light French pastry filled with crème mousseline and topped with flaked nuts.
Makes 2, 6” rounds
1¼ (300 ml) cups all-purpose flour
1½ (23 ml) tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt
9 tablespoons (135 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) flaked almonds for top
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. Bring water, milk, butter, and salt to a boil in a small pot. Remove from the heat and add the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides.
3. Put pot back on the heat and cook dough until there is no residual moisture, approximately 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and put dough into a stand mixer to cool. Slowly add eggs into the dough and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. The texture should fall away from a wooden spoon in a “v” shape. Place dough in a piping bag with an open star tip.
5. Trace two 6” circles on the underside of a 12x 18-inch sheet of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.
6. To avoid the parchment from moving, place a small amount of dough on the baking sheet to ‘glue’ down the parchment paper. Pipe one ring of dough over the circle, then pipe another ring on the outside of this circle. Finally, pipe a ring on top of both circles.
7. Egg-wash the top of the choux, and sprinkle flaked almonds/pistachios on top.
8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the choux is puffed up and golden. Turn off oven and allow choux to fully dry out. Remove the choux from the oven and allow to cool completely before piping fillings.
Step-by-Step Guide & Tips For Making The Choux
HEAT IT UP Combine milk, butter and water in a pot and heat until boiling. The flour will absorb the liquid fairly quickly, but do not take off the stove until you have thoroughly cooked out the dough. This will ensure a crisp, puffy choux.
EGG PREP Break eggs into a separate bowl and whisk. Add in egg a little at a time. Do not pour in all the eggs mixture into the cooled choux as this may result in a wet dough and flat choux.
STIR, STIR, STIR Choux requires a fair amount of muscle. To properly make the dough smooth and lump-free, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon is key.
Pistachio Crème Pâtissière
As a variation on the original mousseline recipe, we opted for a pistachio creme pâtissière:
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (30 ml) pistachio paste
1. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add seeds and pod to milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thickened. Whisk in the flours until mix is smooth.
3. Remove vanilla pod from milk. Gradually whisk milk into egg mixture. Pour mixture back into saucepan over high heat. Stir constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until cream is thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in pistachio paste until smooth.
4. Take saucepan off the heat and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Just call these three, CSL’s baking heroes
Nomz Pistachio Nut Butter, 400g;
Eden Foods Organic Pistachios, 454g;
Foothills Creamery Old Fashioned butter, 454g;
This original recipe first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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