This bake was so close to being a fail. The challenge this week was Get Out of Your Comfort Zone, and although I had done choux pastry (cream puff/eclair batter) plenty of times, I’d never made a Paris-Brest before.
Here is my shining example of botched choux pastry, BTW:
Batter looked great and got nice and puffy in the oven, but apparently I took it out too quickly and it deflated 🙁
Having made this pastry before, I was feeling pretty
cocky confident that this bake was a slam dunk…obviously there is plenty for me to learn!
So, for those who don’t know, a Paris-Brest is a dessert shaped like a bicycle wheel, named after a bike race going from Paris to Brest in France. I believe it is typically filled with praline cream, so my mixed berry mousse probably isn’t authentic.
My second attempt was much better than the first. I made 6 smaller “wheels” instead of one giant one, which cut down on baking time and the possibility of deflating. Bake the pastry, cut in half, fill with mousse, pastry cream, etc., berries on top of that, cap with other half of pastry, finish off with whipped cream and powdered sugar.
This is a great “texture” dessert – crisp pastry, light and airy mousse, tart berries. Definitely not sickeningly sweet, just a nice ending to a meal.
Choux pastry is here.
Mousse recipe is below, altered from King Arthur Flour’s All Purpose Baking Book:
3 cups (12 oz) frozen mixed berries
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup heavy cream
Bring frozen fruit, sugar, and lemon juice to a simmer on medium heat. Remove from heat and press through sieve to get rid of seeds, reserving the liquid. You should have roughly 1-1/2 cups of liquid left. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.
Combine cold water and gelatin in a small saucepan and let sit for a minute.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside.
Heat the cold water and gelatin on low heat until it becomes clear. Stir this mixture into cooled off berry puree.
Fold that mixture into the whipped cream and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
Pipe into choux pastry and enjoy!