Chou à la crème
The circular chou or choux (pronounce shu) is way elegant and fancy, even the name. I spied this recipe on ‘cookpad.com (recipe#3179131)’.
It is just (Lord of the) Ring…(just kidding)… style cream puff yet chic enough that it is presentable as a dessert for precious guests.
Martha Stewart version of ‘Paris Brest’ YouTube video is worth watching.
Ingredients and Instruction for two 6 inch Paris Brest (Print Recipe here)
Necessary equipment: food scale, 2-3 piping bags with 1/2 inch round tip and star tip, sifter/fine mesh sieve, parchment paper
- For microwave whole egg custard cream – 1 egg, 1 Tablespoon low viscosity flour, 50 g sugar, 200 cc milk, 20 g, butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 50 g regular butter, if you using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt cut in cubes
- 140 cc water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 40 g bread flour, combine with low viscosity flour below and sift
- 40 g viscosity flour
- 3 eggs
- Chantilly cream – recipe here
- strawberries (optional)
- powdered sugar
- Make microwave whole egg custard cream - combine egg, flour, sugar with whisk in a medium size bowl. Add milk and mix well, strain the mixture through sieve into larger bowl. Put in a microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds with 60% power, whisk and put back in the microwave for 2 minutes with 60% power. If it’s still runny then microwave an additional 30 seconds until creamy but not too thick. Cover with plastic directly on the custard. Chill in refrigerator. Set aside.
- Chou batter – Draw two 4 inch circles on the parchment paper (I traced 4 inch bowl) and flip. Set aside. Heat oven to 400F.
- Put butter, water, sugar and flour in a thick bottom pan and cook to full boil at medium heat . Remove from heat then add flours at once. Bring back to cooktop.
- Cook batter at medium heat while continually stirring with wooden spoon until a thin film coats the bottom of pan about 1 minute. Remove from heat and wait mixture to cool down little bit 3-5 minutes.
- Add egg one at a time, mix well each time – stop adding eggs when you achieve the right texture – when you lift the wooden spatula, the batter will form a triangle and drop slowly to bowl (see the pic). I used 2 and 1/2 eggs.
- Put batter in a bag (I recommend 16 inch or larger piping bag for easier fill). Pipe out batter on the perimeter of the circle (make sure the circles you drew are on the back side of the parchment paper). Then pipe out another time around that one. Pipe out more batter on top of two circles. Repeat the process for another circle. Make smooth with wetted finger for neater look. Brush with egg wash (mix I egg yolk and 1 Tablespoon water) on the top for shine if you like.
- Bake for 20 minutes. :Warning: never open the oven door! at any point during cooking. Without opening door, change the temperature to 375F .Bake for 10 minutes. Again without opening the oven door, change temperature to 320F. Bake for 30 minutes. Now you’re done! Take out from the oven and cool.
- Assembly – When the Paris Blest is cooled, slice horizontally in the middle – take your time on this process. Fill the bottom half of the ring with chilled custard cream (use piping bag with 1/2 inch tip if you prefer but not necessary). Place strawberries if using. Put Chantilly cream in a piping bag with star tip, pipe out between the strawberries. Top with upper half of the ring. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Wishing you a ‘sunshine in your heart’ kind of day!