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Before starting this Paris-Brest Choux Puffs recipe, organise the necessary ingredients for the choux pastry.
Sift the flour over a large bowl. The will avoid the formation of lumps.
In a saucepan, place the water, milk, butter and salt. Bring to a boil..
When the preparation starts boiling and the butter has completely melted, pour over the flour and combine with a spatula.
Combine until homogeneous. The resulting dough is called "panada".
Place the dough in a saucepan...
Dry off the panada on the heat, stirring with a spatula...
... until the dough comes away from the sides of the saucepan.
Return the dough to the bowl...
... and add the eggs in several batches. Beforehand, beat the eggs together for a homogeneous consistency, then pass through a sieve to remove the chalazae.
Combine with a spatula...
... until the eggs are completely incorporated. At this stage, the pastry is too thick and will break apart easily.
Soften the pastry with a little cold milk until smooth and glossy.
The choux pastry is now ready to use. The smooth consistency of the pastry will ensure it is easy to pipe.
Piping the choux buns: Pipe the choux buns on a Silpat baking mat, placed on top of a Silichef XL perforated baking sheet. Use a plain nozzle (diameter 1cm).
Pipe 12 choux buns with a diameter of 4.5 cm.
On a separate sheet lined with a silicone mat, pipe smaller buns with a diameter of about 2 cm.
Make at least 12 small choux puffs. Don't hesitate to make a few extra ones to be safe. Set aside. At this stage, the pastry can be set aside at room temperature for one hour maximum.
For the craquelin topping: Tip all the ingredients in the stand mixer bowl.
Knead these ingredients with the flat beater without incorporating any air. Make sure you do not knead the ingredients excessively.
Stop the mixer when homogeneous.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish kneading by hand...
... until you obtain a ball.
Transfer the dough on a polyethylene sheet.
Cover with a second acetate sheet...
... and spread with a rolling pin...
... to a thickness of 2 or 2.5 mm. The craquelin topping shouldn't be too thick in order not to crush the choux pastry. If the craquelin is too thick, the choux buns won't puff up properly during baking. If too thin, you won't get the desired crunchy effect.
Place in the freezer.
The craquelin topping will take 30 or 45 minutes to set. Remove from the freezer and cut discs to a diameter of 5 cm.
Place the craquelin discs flat on top of the choux buns. Press down gently to make the topping stick to the bun.
Repeat the operation with all the choux puffs and bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for about 25 or 30 minutes.
For the crème pâtissière: Organise the necessary ingredients.
In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
In a flat-bottomed pastry bowl, tip the egg yolks.
Add the castor sugar and crème pâtissière powder (combine together beforehand to avoid lumps).
Combine well with a whisk...
... beating vigorously.
Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk over the egg mixture. Combine with a whisk simultaneously.
Add this preparation to the remaining milk.
Cook for a few minutes until thick.
Add the butter (cut into cubes) to the hot cream.
Combine until completely incorporated.
Transfer into a large tray and spread into a thin layer. Cover the surface of the cream with cling film. This will allow the cream to cool down faster while preventing the formation of a crust.
For the crème mousseline: Take 350 grams of cold crème pâtissière. Place in the stand mixer recipient.
Add the praline paste...
... and whisk until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to get as much preparation as possible.
Add the soft butter, which has been whipped beforehand.
Combine with the stand mixer.
2 minutes later, the preparation should start to thicken. Stop the mixer and remove the whisk.
Remove the bowl and scrape the sides. Set aside.
Cutting the choux buns: The choux buns should now be cooked.
Cut the large buns in half with a serrated knife.
Using a pastry cutter, trim the edges of the top part of the choux buns for a perfectly neat result. Set aside.
Filling the choux buns: Pierce the bottom of each small choux bun with a knife or a small stainless steel nozzle.
Fill the choux puffs with hazelnut and almond praline paste. I recommend using a piping bag for this operation.
Assembling the Paris-Brest: Scoop the praliné crème mousseline into a piping bag fitted with a large fluted nozzle.
Pipe a small swirl of praliné cream on the bottom part of each choux puff.
Arrange a praliné-filled small choux bun over the cream. Press gently to make it stick.
Pipe a big swirl of praliné cream around the small choux...
... until completely hidden.
Arrange the cap on top.
Repeat this operation for all the choux puffs.
Drizzle some icing sugar or Codineige decorating sugar over the choux buns.
Arrange the Paris-Brest choux puffs on a nice serving plate. For this recipe, I made a dessert for 6 with 6 individual choux buns...
... but the quantities listed above will make 12 individual cakes.
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