Paris-Brest

A famous French recipe, Paris-Brest (pah-ree-brcst) is a light choux pastry ring filled with either Creme Patissiere or praline- flavoured cream. Serve this pastry as part of a dessert with fruit salad or as a mid-morning treat with freshly percolated coffee.

8-

1 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

10 oz. Choux Pastry dough, warm egg, beaten with

½ teaspoon water

1 oz. slivered almonds

1 tablespoon icing sugar

12 fl. oz. Creme Patissiere

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C). Using the teaspoon of butter lightly grease a large baking sheet.

Sprinkle over the tablespoon of flour and tip and rotate the baking sheet to distribute the flour evenly. Shake off any excess flour.

Using a plate or cake tin as a guide, trace an 8-inch circle in the centre of the baking sheet with your index finger.

Fill a forcing bag, fitted with a plain 1-inch nozzle, with the choux pastry dough. Pipe the dough on to the baking sheet in an 8-inch ring.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough ring with the egg mixture. Sprinkle over the slivered almonds and dust the top with the sugar. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake the pastry ring for 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to fairly hot 375 CF (Gas Mark 5, 190CC), and continue to bake the ring for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is puffed up and golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow horizontal slit all round the ring to allow the steam to escape. Replace the ring in the turncd-off oven for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

To fill the ring, gently cut it in half horizontally, to form two shells. Carefully spoon the creme patissiere on to the bottom half. Replace the almond covered top, gently pressing the two halves of the ring together. Serve the ring as soon as possible after filling.

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