Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chocolate with Francois: Chocolate Paris-Brest

This is my first time actually posting with Chocolate with Francois! I "joined" the group several months ago after finding the book at TJ Maxx at the most ridiculously low price of $6.99! Right around the time I found it, Julie over at Little Bit of Everything started the group and has been gracious enough to let me be a member even though I hadn't kept up with the baking.

Well, here I am for February's challenge, hosted by Susan of Baking with Susan (who has the recipe posted btw). I figured that I better make this month's recipe as I'm hosting next month and it would be pretty pathetic not to post even once before hosting!

A Paris-Brest is basically a wheel-shaped cream puff, not normally chocolate but this is Francois' version. You make a chocolate choux pastry and then fill it with chocolate pastry cream, traditionally topped with sliced blanched almonds and homemade chocolate drops but I left those off b/c I'm lazy!

I have made choux pastry before when I made eclairs so I was not afraid of this...I was actually quite excited b/c when I made the eclairs I made them the very hardest way...for some reason I thought you had to hand mix them with a wooden spoon--do you know how hard it is to incorporate eggs into a paste-like dough with a wooden spoon?? MUCH harder than using a mixer!!

Well, despite having the lovely modern convenience of a mixer, I didn't get these quite right. My Paris-Brest fell flat...the cream puffs looked pretty much done but I should have taken them out and left the rest in for a bit longer. Oh well...

hubs thought it all pretty much looked like poop...not excatly appetizing! ;)

Also, I'm not sure that I got the chocolate pastry cream right either. The mixture never quite came to a boil, but it did get rather lumpy despite my consistent whisking. It was extremely thick and dark, but had smoothed out when I added the butter and chopped chocolate. When I tasted the cream it was still good, just very thick, so I decided to add some sweetened whipped cream which lightened it up nicely. (unfortunately, i forgot to take a picture of the cream before I changed it.)

they weren't as light and airy as other puffs that I've made, but they were still pretty good!


  1. Beautiful job!!! I love the outside pictures! You must be getting some nice weather where you are!

    Looking forward to next month's CWF recipe.

  2. It looks quite tasty and you should know I only understood like everyother word. You pastry chefs speak another language. :)

  3. Thanks for baking with me! Your pictures outside are wonderful. And, your Chocolate Paris-Brest turned out great!

  4. Well you win some and then some days the recipes just do not come out the way we think they should. It still looks good to me and nothing goes to waste at our house. Sounds like a fun thing to do every month. I will have to see what you bake up when it is your month to pick.

  5. You did such a nice job with this. Your pictures are just fantastic. I love Paris Brest but have never had one made with chocolate and that gives me food for thought. I love your blog and will be back often. Have a fabulous day. Blessings...Mary.