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Classic French Recipe Paris-brest

My Classic French Recipe Paris-brest

Extra praline paste and roasted hazelnuts in the filling bring additional crunchiness making this Paris-Brest one of the most impressive desserts of all!

Classic French Recipe Paris-brest


For the choux pastry

  • 120 g (½ cups) Unsalted butter 82% fat content
  • 120 g (½ cups) Water
  • 120 g (½ cups) Whole milk
  • 2 Large pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated sugar
  • 140 g (1 cups) Bread flour high protein flour (12% protein)
  • 220 g (1 cups) Egg might need slightly more or less, pls see tips above
  • 75 g (½ cups) Almond flake

For the Praline Crème Mousseline

  • 500 g (2 cups) Whole milk
  • 100 g (½ cups) Granulated sugar
  • 80 g (⅓ cups) Egg yolk approx. yolk of 4-5 eggs
  • 25 g (⅕ cups) Corn starch
  • 25 g (⅕ cups) AP flour
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste
  • 50 g (¼ cups) Unsalted butter room temperature, 82% fat content - will be used while making the pastry cream
  • 130 g (1 cups) Hazelnut Praline paste homemade or store bough
  • 150 g (⅔ cups) Unsalte butter room temperature, 82% fat content - will be used while making the mousseline cream

For Assembling

  • 3 tablespoon roasted chopped hazelnuts
  • Hazelnut praline paste homemade or store bough
  • US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.


Choux rings

1. Sift flour then measure and set aside.

2. Place butter, water, milk, salt and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat.

3. As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove from heat, add the flour in one go, and whisk vigorously with a Rubber spatula until it forms one smooth ball and flour bits are not visible.

Classic French Recipe Paris-brest

4. Place the saucepan back to the stove and cook the dough for about 3 min over medium heat mixing constantly. It is ready when a sort of skin forms on the bottom up the saucepan.

5. Transfer the dough into a bowl and let it cool down slightly before mixing the egg in. Mix in only a small amount of egg at a time, consistently whisking after each addition. You should reach a consistency which is not too runny, not too firm but just fine to pipe. Pls see tips above.

6. Move choux dough into a piping bag fitted with French star nozzle tip and let the dough rest in the fridge 1-2h.

7. The recipe makes 3 Paris Brest 19 cm / 7.5 inches in diameter. Since the choux will expand in the oven, you will need to pipe about 14 cm / 5.5 inches.

8. Pipe the dough in ring shape, leaving enough space in between them, as they will puff, then place the tray into the freezer for min 1h. Use Perforated “air” baking mat or baking paper.

9. Pre-heat oven to 200 C / 392 F.

10. Lower oven temperature to 170 C / 338 F and bake the Choux rings for 40 min. Do not open the oven door in the first 30 min. If you are baking it the first time it is a good idea to take one choux bun out of the oven at 40 min and check its consistency. If it is golden in colour, nicely puffed up, does not deflate on room temperature and the middle of the ring is not raw (it is ok if it's a bit wet, it will dry while cooling down) then it is considered to be done.

Classic French Recipe Paris-brest

11. Cool them either on the perforated air mat or if baked on parchment papaer, then cool them on cooling rack.

Pastry cream

1. In a large enough bowl with the help of a Hand whisk, mix together sugar and egg yolk until slightly fluffy for about 1-2 minutes.

2. Mix in corn starch, flour, and vanilla until throughly incorporated and have a smooth paste.

3. Bring milk to simmering in a saucepan on medium heat. Make sure it is simmering but not crazy boiling, see my tips above.

4. Pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously with a Hand whisk.

5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Concretely it is approximately 1 min after the first boil. It might get lumpy first, don't worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy.

6. If in doubt, strain the pastry cream for a lump-free, creamy end result.

7. Add in room temperature soft butter and mix with a Rubber spatula until completely incorporated. It is worth to add the butter in 3 stages and mix well after each addition.

8. Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top. Let it cool to room temperature.

Make the mousseline cream

1. Crème mousseline can be made with room temp pastry cream, room temp butter, and hazelnut praline paste. Make sure everything is at room temp otherwise the mixture might curdle.

2. Whipp room temp butter first for 1-2 minutes, then mix in praline paste.

3. Start adding in the room temp pastry cream in 4 stages until cream reaches a stable yet fluffy texture. Do not over whip the mixture as it can become runny.


1. Cut the top of each choux ring and fill them with about 1 tablespoon chopped roasted hazelnut per ring plus some hazelnut praline paste on top.

2. Move mousseline cream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle tip. You can use Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip or French star nozzle tip. Pipe the hazelnut praline mousseline cream around the choux.

3. Dust the top part of the choux ring with icing sugar and place on top. Decorate the top with some more hazelnut and hazelnut skin.

4. Store in fridge. Paris Brest is best served fresh as choux pastry might get soggy after some time. Due to the butter content mousseline cream will get firmer in the fridge, that is normal.

Classic French Recipe Paris-brest


Ingredient Notes:

1. Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy.

2. To make the choux, use high protein content bread flour for the best results, I am using 12% protein content flour.

3. Do not skip the salt, it has a special function while baking choux.

4. For the mousseline cream use whole milk and hazelnut praline paste.

5. Feel free to substitute the hazelnut praline with hazelnut butter but make sure to increase the sugar content for the pastry cream and hazelnut butter contains no sugar.

Technique Notes:

1. Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.

2. While heating the milk, water, butter, salt, sugar mixture make sure that sugar and salt fully dissolves.

3. Do not skip sifting flour as you don´t want to deal with flour lumps while making this recipe.

4. Please note that you might need slightly more or less egg - and that is normal - depending on the flour you use and how much you dried the mixture while cooking it. Pay very close attention to the consistency while mixing the egg in and apply the V shape test. 

5. There are 2 chilling times involved - one fridge resting before piping, and one freezing before baking. Both of them are important to achieve neat, crack-free results.

6. Use a star nozzle tip so your choux pastry will puff neat.

7. If you have never used a piping bag and piping nozzle before, it is worth practicing before.

8. I strongly advise using a Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your exact oven temperature.

9. While baking, do not use fan in your oven, it can encourage cracks on your eclairs.

10. While making Creme mousseline, it is crucial that both the pastry cream as well as the butter is at room temperature. Also, make sure you do not over whip it as it can become runny.