Paris-New York Recipe

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Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)The Paris-Brest is more than a century old, invented to commemorate the famous bicycle race. The dessert is made with pate a choux piped into a ring (the shape of a tire), baked, split, and filled with a praline pastry cream. I love classics, and Sebastien loves to put a twist on them. Here he combines a French creation with something very American peanut butter (making this a reflection of his journey). We think of peanut butter as commonplace here, but it was new to Sebastien. He adds Skippy natural peanut butter to the pastry cream filling and garnishes the dessert with whole and chopped salted peanuts rather than using the traditional praline buttercream and almonds. These are impressive individual desserts to serve at a dinner party.

  • Yield: 12 pastries

Ingredients

  • Pate a Choux for Eclairs
  • ¾ cup (120 g) Salted peanuts (without skin), coarsely chopped
Filling
  • 1½ tbsp ¾ cup (125 g) Basic Buttercream
  • ½ cup (125 g) Creamy peanut butter
  • 0.12 tsp (0.4 g) Kosher salt
  • 20.33 cups (500 g) Diplomat Cream
  • ¾ cups (120 g) Salted peanuts (without skin)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
How to Make It
  1. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (standard).
  2. To make a template
  3. The templates for the pate a choux should be visible through the lighter part of a Silpat. Using a fine-tip marker and the oval cutter as a guide, draw 6 ovals about 2 inches apart on a large piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment on a sheet pan and position the Silpat over it.
  4. To pipe and bake the pate choux
  5. Fill a small bowl and the spray bottle with water. Fill the pastry bag with the #867 star tip with the pate a choux. Pipe the pate a choux around the oval templates, overlapping the ends of each one to make a solid oval. Carefully slide out the template and repeat with a second sheet pan and Silpat.
  6. Wet your finger and press down the overlap to smooth it. Sprinkle 10 grams/1 tablespoon chopped peanuts on top of each oval, pressing them lightly into the batter. Spray the ovals lightly with water.
  7. Place the sheet pans in the oven, immediately lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is beginning to brown. Lower the temperature to 325°F and bake for 5 minutes more, or until golden brown. Lower the temperature to 300°F and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until the puffs are light and hollow. If you break one open, the center should be completely cooked. Set on a cooling rack and cool completely before filing or freezing.
  8. To make the filling
  9. Combine the buttercream, peanut butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the diplomat cream.
  10. To fill the pastries
  11. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of each oval. Set the tops aside.
  12. Fill the pastry bag with the #864 star tip with the peanut butter cream. Pipe the cream in a spiral rosette pattern toward the outer edge of each oval, then make a second spiral around the inside edge. Arrange 10 grams/1 tablespoon of the whole peanuts between the spirals in each oval. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and place over the filling. Set the assembled pastries on a serving platter.
  13. The pastries are best eaten as soon as they are completed, but they can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour.
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