Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paris Brest

No misspelling here.

According to Wikipedia:

Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) was originally a 1200km long bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. It is the oldest bicycling event that is still regularly run.

But I am talking about this wonderful dessert that I always look forward to annually from my sister-in-law. Paris Brest is "classic French creation — a large ring of airy choux pastry filled with the richest praline pastry cream —" (from I fell in love with it the first time I tasted it. I did not bother to try to make it myself, because I love looking forward to having it during holidays. And of course, I love wolfing it down without having to sweat a drop to make it.

But I asked my SIL for the recipe and instructions to share with those of you who might want to try serving this to your relatives (and I am sure you will impress them!) She warned me not to try making it, and I gladly said, "That's your specialty, so I am not even gonna try."

So here it is:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. (IMPT)
Boil the butter and water then cook on low. Add the flour and salt, and cook for about a minute stirring constantly until it leaves the sides of the pan.
SET 5 MINUTES on the countertop. (This is critical).
Break an egg and drip into the mixture, beat by hand with a woden spoon. Repeat 3 times more (so that makes it a total of 4 eggs added).
Using a pastry bag (or whatever you can use as substitute. I usually use ziploc bag with a corner cut), pipe and form into a circle with 7-inch diameter on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 deg F for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 350 and keep baking for 30-40 minutes more until top becomes dark brown.
Let cool.

1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 pint whipping cream

Whip cream then let sit in the fridge for 4-5 hours.
Cook sugar and almonds in a small saucepan over low heat and keep shaking (do not stir) until sugar is all melted.
Pour onto buttered tin foil. Let cool and solidify.
Break into pieces then use a FOOD PROCESSOR (not chopper) to break further into powdery form.
Fold the praline into the whipped cream.

Cut the top off the dough ring and scoop inside. Fill with praline in the middle. Return the top portion then sprinkle with sugar.

Serve as fresh as you could.

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