Named for a bicycle race run between the two cities of Paris
and Brest, this wheel-shaped pastry of choux paste is a classic.
1 cup all-purpose flour 5 eggs 1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup
sliced almonds 3 cups pastry cream (recipe below) 1 cup heavy cream,
chilled 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly grease a large
baking sheet with shortening and then dust lightly with flour. Use a 10
inch pan as a template and draw a 10 inch circle onto the flour dusted sheet
using a toothpick. Set aside. Place the 4 eggs into a small measuring cup
and mix with a fork to combine, set aside. Combine the water, salt and
butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it comes to a full boil, add the
flour all at once and stir to make a paste. Continue to stir over the heat for
about a minute until the paste dries a little. Remove from heat and place paste
into a mixing bowl. With a mixer on low, mix the paste and slowly add the
beaten eggs. Mix slowly but thoroughly until all of the eggs have been added.
Place the paste into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round decorating
tip. Pipe the paste out onto the sheet pan following the 10 inch ring that
was outlined. Pipe a second ring around the inside next to this ring. Finally,
pipe another ring on top of these two rings. Lightly brush the set of rings
with the remaining 1 beaten egg and press the sliced almonds into the paste.
Place in the oven on the lowest shelf and bake at 425 degrees F (220
degrees C) for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees
C) and bake about 12 minutes more or until brown. Remove from the oven and
using a long serrated knife slice off the top half of the puffed ring.
Remove any bits of raw dough on the inside of the ring. Replace the top and
place back in the oven to crisp the dough, about 5 more minutes. Cool on a
rack. To Make the filling: Whip the pastry cream until smooth. Place
the heavy cream into a bowl along with the vanilla and beat on high until soft
peaks are formed. Add in the confectioners' sugar and beat a little more. Fold
the pastry cream in with the whipped cream and transfer to a piping bag fitted
with a star tip. Pipe the cream mixture into the ring and then replace the
top. If you wish, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.
CREAM: 2 cups milk 6 egg yolks 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup
all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 In a small saucepan, Heat milk to boiling point and remove from the
heat. 2 In a heatproof mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth. Gradually
add the granulated sugar and continue beating until pale yellow. Beat in the
flour. 3 Pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream,
beating constantly. When all the milk has been added, place the bowl over (not
in) a pan of boiling water, or pour the mixture into the top of a double
boiler. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 2 minutes more,
then remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic
wrap and allow to cool.