Paris-Brest Saint Honoré

Choux paste rings are filled with a thick custard cream and sprinkled with flaked almonds in this spectacular dessert from Jean-Christophe Novelli
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Paris-Brest Saint Honoré
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the choux paste

  • 350 ml water
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 5-6 eggs, depending on size
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 100 g blanched flaked almonds, , toasted

For the cream filling

  • 1 litres milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 75 g cornflour
  • 15 g gelatine, softened in 5 tbsp cold water
  • 4 egg whites
  • icing sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the water and butter slowly until the butter has melted. Take care not to let the water boil until the butter has melted completely.

3. As soon as the water reaches boiling point, add the sieved flour and salt in one go. Remove the pan from the heat, stir the mixture until it forms a smooth thick paste that comes away from the side of the pan. (If the mixture is too thin, cook it briefly until thickened - do not beat the paste at this stage, or the fat will separate out, making it oily).

4. Leave the paste to cool slightly, and beat together the eggs and sugar. Gradually mix these into the paste, only a little at a time, and beat until smooth and glossy. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle.

5. On a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, pipe an 18cm ring of the mixture, then pipe a second layer over the top. Brush the top gently with some beaten egg and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

6. Cook in the hot oven 35-40 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the rings to cool with the oven door ajar. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

7. To make the Saint Honoré cream filling, boil the milk with the vanilla pod.

8. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture turns white and thick, then whisk in the corn flour.

9. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and pour the milk over the egg and sugar mix, beating well. Return this to the saucepan and bring to boil, whisking all the time. Stir in the drained, softened gelatine and heat until it has completely dissolved.

10. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Bring the custard back to the boil, and pour it over the egg whites, folding them in with a metal spoon. Leave to cool until almost set.

11. Cut the cooled choux paste ring in half horizontally with a serrated knife and spread the base with the cream filling. Replace the top half of the Paris-Brest, dust with icing sugar, and serve.

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