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This cake was created in 1910 by pastry chef Louis Durand, upon request from the organiser of a bicycle race between Paris and Brest. The cake has a large ring shape representing bicycle wheels.
Nowadays, the legendary Paris-Brest can be found in all French pâtisseries and is one of the most popular desserts in the country.
Before starting this Paris-Brest recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Place the butter, salt and water in a saucepan, then place on the heat.
Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and pour all the flour in one go.
Stir with a wooden spatula, making sure that lumps do not form.
The resulting dough is called 'panada'. Dry off the panada on the heat, stirring with a wooden spatula, until the pastry comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Incorporate one egg and combine...
... using a wooden spatula.
Incorporate the remaining eggs one by one.
The choux pastry is ready to use.
Transfer the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
Lay the choux pastry in the shape of a crown.
Pipe two circles of pastry next to each other...
... and finally a third string...
... overlapping the first two.
Glaze the surface with the egg yolk using a pastry brush.
Sprinkle flaked almonds...
... over the entire surface.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4) and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
The pastry should rise and have a nice golden colour.
When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar with a small amount of water.
Bring to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 121°C. The use of a digital thermometer is highly recommended. (If you don't own one, simply dip a fork in boiling sugar. If you see strings forming when you take the fork out, it means that the sugar is ready.)
Clarify the eggs. Place the egg yolks in the food mixer recipient. When the sugar is ready, gradually pour it over the eggs, with the mixer on low speed. The eggs should be at room temperature.
Once the sugar is completely combined with the egg yolks, continue beating on high speed until the mixture has cooled down.
When the mixture has cooled down...
... gradually incorporate the softened butter (cut into cubes).
Continue beating until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous cream. Add the praline last. The amount varies according to the intensity you like.
With a serrated knife, cut the crown in half, crosswise.
Scoop the praliné crème au beurre into a piping bag fitted with a large fluted nozzle.
The use of a bowl scraper will facilitate this step.
Pipe the preparation on the lower part of the crown...
... forming big swirls.
On top of the crème au beurre, place the upper part of the crown (the one coated with flaked almonds). Leave in the fridge to set.
When ready to serve, sprinkle some icing sugar over the surface of the crown. Display on a serving plate.
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