Not Paris Brest: cream puffs instead!

I had grand plans to make a Paris Brest for New Year’s Eve. I even looked up how to pronounce it properly along with its history. I thought I would use my French Feasts cookbook as it is “traditional” French home cooking. So this is a decorative ring of choux pastry filled with praline pastry cream.

First to make the pastry cream, or “crème pat” as I hear it said on the GBBO. I make the full recipe from the above mentioned cookbook with a few substitutes. I flavored mine with vanilla.

  • 4 cups milk (used 12 ounce can of evaporated milk with 12 ounces of water, topped off with the oatmeal milk from the fridge)
  • 2 eggs and 4 egg yolks ( I used the 6 egg yolks left over from making meringue for a Baked Alaska dessert for Christmas Eve)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk eggs and sugar. Add flour and mix well. Bring the milk and butter to a boil and then add the egg mixture. Simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Dust with sugar and chill. Be sure to whisk frequently and temper the egg mixture with some of the liquid while cooking before adding it all so to avoid scrambled eggs. This makes a lot of crème pat. I apparently have made this before, or Son has, as there are notations for half of the ingredients written beside the recipe in the book.

I then proceeded to make the choux pastry from this same book. I failed to compare it to other choux recipes from other cookbooks. This called for a full cup of butter and 4 eggs. It cost me 5 eggs as one fell on to the floor. No other recipe calls for this much butter, not Jacques nor Julia. Perhaps it is a typo.

The pastry was tasty but very thick. It was more of a cookie than a pastry. It did not turn out well. It broke into chunks when I attempted to slice it to fill with the pastry cream. I have half this dough in the fridge and plan to roll it out into shortbread cookies as that is the consistency of the dough.

So the next day I went to my faithful Betty Crocker Cookbook and made cream puff pastry dough which I have successfully made before.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

Heat water and butter to boiling. Stir in flour and stir vigorously over low heat until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs all at once. Continue beating until smooth. Drop dough on ungreased cookie sheet in 1/4 cupful. Makes six. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. Let cool. Cut off tops. Fill with pastry cream. Replace tops. Glaze or frost as desired.

I melted dark chocolate chips mixed with some chopped almonds and teaspoon of oil for the chocolate icing. Yummy!

Now what to do with all that Patisserie Crème I have left in my fridge?

Advertisement