Paris-Brest is a traditional French dessert, which was created in 1910 by pastry chef Louis Durand at the request of the organizer of the cycling race from Paris to Brest. The sweet treat was designed to resemble the shape of a bicycle wheel.
Paris-Brest is made from pâte à choux, the same dough used to make other French desserts, the most famous of which are eclair and choux balls. Using a pastry bag, the dough is shaped into a circle (wheel) and baked until it puffs up and turns golden. After cooling, it is sliced in half and filled with a sweet cream, topped with powdered sugar, and is ready to serve.
The praline cream is usually made from a mixture of pastry cream and buttercream, flavored with a finely ground blend of caramelized sugar and hazelnuts or almonds. The sweet nutty flavor of the cream pairs perfectly with the light and delicate choux pastry. In addition to the classic version, many patisseries and restaurants in France now offer various versions of this iconic dessert.
I had the opportunity to taste this dessert as part of the evening menu at the Parisian restaurant Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes, awarded with a Michelin-Bib accolade. It was exquisite. Paris-Brest here is prepared fresh to order for 12 EUR, while in French patisseries and bakeries you can get it for about half the price.
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