Pastry chefs tend to adopt a favorite shape for their creations. Many love the organic flow of crumbles and foams while other go-to’s include spheres, rectangles, and clean lines. I try to use a variety of forms, but I’m a sucker for rings. Not only do rings evoke both order and movement, but they remind me of jewelry, donuts, and bicycle wheels. That’s right, I said bicycle wheels. As an avid cyclist, I’m a huge fan of the Paris-Brest, which was created in 1891 to commemorate the 1200 kilometer bicycle race between the French cities of Paris and Brest. This classic pastry consists of a ring of pate a choux filled with softly whipped praline cream.
For this Paris-Brest I used a pate a choux recipe from the amazing Francisco Migoya and enhanced the rich caramel and praline flavors of the pastry with some delicious, crunchy hazelnut nougatine lining the filling.