If I had to choose only one dessert that I would make over and over for the rest of my life – it would probably be Paris Brest, and generally desserts with choux pastry. It is one of the most versatile doughs that allow infinite variety in shapes, flavors and colors, and you can always create something new from the same base.
These following Paris Brest desserts combine two classic flavors – chocolate and almonds. Golden and crunchy dough rings with sliced almonds over filled with a rich chocolate cream and lots of powdered sugar on top. This is a delicious and so beautiful dessert for hosting a dinner party or whenever you want to make something a little more decadent than pound cake.
Chocolate and Almond Paris Brest
For the dough:
125 ml. (1/2 cup) milk
1/2 tsp. salt
10 grams (1 tbsp.) sugar
50 grams butter
75 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2-3 large eggs, beaten
50-60 grams sliced almonds
For the chocolate cream:
150 grams dark chocolate 60% cocoa solids
150 ml. (2/3 cup) whipping cream
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. chocolate liqueur or brandy
250 ml. (1 cup) very cold whipping cream
- Dough: in a pot, put milk, salt, sugar and butter and heat to a full boil.
- Add flour, lower the heat and stir until you get a uniform lump of dough.
- Transfer the dough to a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and mix at medium to high speed for 2-3 minutes until the dough cools slightly.
- Add about half of the eggs mixture and continue blending at medium speed. The dough will look as though it is falling apart, but it will soon return to its optimal texture after mixing.
- Continue to add the eggs gradually until the mixture is flexible and shiny. Do the finger test, and check whether there is a thin wedge of dough between two fingers. If the dough is ready, there is no need to add the remaining egg. If not yet flexible enough – add a little more egg and continue to mix.
- When the dough is ready, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a 2 cm serrated piping tip.
- Pipe the Paris Brest about 7-8 cm circles on a baking pan lined with baking paper.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds generously at the top of the desserts.
- Preheat the oven to 170c degrees.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and fully set.
- Cool completely at room temperature and cut the Paris Brest (like cutting a sandwich roll).
- Chocolate cream: chop the chocolate and put in a bowl.
- In a pot, put 150 ml cream and salt and heat to a simmer.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate, wait about a minute and mix well until you get a uniform, shiny ganache.
- Add the liqueur and stir until it is mixed in the ganache.
- Cool the ganache for 2-3 hours until it is completely cold.
- Transfer the cold ganache to a mixer bowl with a whipping hook, add the remaining cream (250 ml) and whip together at medium to high speed until you get a very uniform and stable cream.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with 2 cm round piping tip with the chocolate cream, and drizzly the Paris Brest generously.
- Close with the top part, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
- The desserts are at their best on the day of preparation, but you can keep them in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Instead of almonds you can use any other type of nuts you like.
- It is important to use dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids for the best result.
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