Paris-Brest: the French dessert recipe based on choux pastry

This dessert was created by the pastry chef Louis Durand , master of Maissons-Laffitte, in 1891, in memory of the Paris-Brest-Paris cycling competition: tradition has it that this dessert has a circular shape , just to recall the wheel of a bicycle.

The preparation of this cake requires commitment and care: the choux pastry is a great pastry challenge, therefore you need to pay attention to its consistency (which must resemble that of a thicker custard) and not to overload the cream puff , which tends to to increase significantly in volume. It is also important to regulate the temperature of the oven , which must remain constant: we do not recommend opening the door during cooking, otherwise the choux pastry will collapse.

According to the manual, Paris-Brest requires mousseline cream for the filling, a cream that combines whipped butter and custard with cornstarch: this preparation boasts a greater consistency than other creams and holds the weight of the choux pastry well, without collapsing the Sweet.

In case you want to experiment with other fillings, we recommend a chocolate version , or with a classic pastry , with a chantilly or with the diplomat . However, we recommend trying the mousseline because it has a greater consistency and better supports the choux pastry.


For the cabbage pasta

Flour 00

120 gr


100 ml


100 ml


80 gr




a pinch


a pinch

Per la crema muslin




at room temperature, 160 gr


500 ml

more starch

60 gr

For decoration


in flakes, to taste

Powdered sugar


How to prepare Paris Brest

Start by preparing the mousseline cream. In a saucepan break two eggs1, add sugar2and whisk with a fruit to blend3.

Add the cornstarch4and mix vigorously to avoid lumps5. Pour in the milk slowly and put on the heat, continuing to stir the mixture with the whisk to prevent it from sticking to the edges6.

When the cream has thickened, transfer it to a glass container7and cover it with a layer of transparent film, making sure it adheres well to the surface; set aside and let cool8. Move on to preparing the choux pastry: pour the milk with the water into a saucepan9.

Add the butter and a pinch of salt10; once the butter has completely melted11, add the flour. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the batter has thickened12.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool13. In a separate container, break 4 eggs14and beat them vigorously with a whisk15.

Gradually pour the eggs into the flour and butter mixture previously set to cool16. With a dish licker mix the two compounds17and keep adding the eggs a little at a time18, taking care to mix between one addition and another.

The final consistency should be creamy, like a particularly thick custard19. With a pencil, draw a circle on a sheet of parchment paper, using a cake pan as a guide20. Insert the dough for the choux pastry into a sac à poche and draw the first circle, following the pencil line21.

Draw two more circles, one inside the previous one22and one superimposed on the previous two23. Brush the surface of the choux pastry with beaten egg24.

Sprinkle with flaked almonds25. Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes; then lower the temperature to 160 °C and cook for another 25 minutes. For the mousseline cream, whip the butter with an electric whisk until it becomes frothy26. Gradually add the previously prepared custard27.

Continue whipping the mixture28until butter and custard are completely blended29. Once the base has cooled, cut it in half30.

On the base31spread a first layer of mousseline cream, helping yourself with a sac à poche with a wide nozzle32; then spread a second layer, distributing it in an S shape on the first33.

Cover with the top layer of choux pastry34, sprinkle with icing sugar35and serve it, taking care to cut the slices delicately so as not to crush the cream36.

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Hazelnut cake: the recipe for a delicious and fragrant dessert


Paris Brest can be kept for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator; do not leave it out of the refrigerator, the cream would risk turning sour. The base can be prepared in advance, stored in a tin and filled later.