Anyone seen my choux?

Paris Brest

Chef prepared a medley of desserts. And we all felt sick afterwards. Sablés aux Fruits de Saison were swiftly demolished, literally. I love shortbread biscuits. The Bavarois à la Vanille avec Nage de fruits Exotiques or Vanilla Bavarian cream with exotic fruit quickly followed suit along with a half dozen Paris Brest. No wonder the wave of nausea. Paris Brest are choux pastry rings filled with hazelnut cream, so named in commemoration of the bicycle race that began in 1891. The shape is meant to reflect a wheel.

Seasonal fruit shortbread

Vanilla Bavarian cream with exotic fruit

After eating so much sweet stuff the last thing we wanted to do was to make our own Paris Brest. Alas, we had to do just that. At least some of the calories consumed were burned off beating the hot choux into submission. I felt like I was on Bake Off. Finally I’ve made choux pastry. Actually it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Judging its readiness by the sail that forms after a massive dollop of pastry drops from your spatula requires experience. I still have no idea what I was looking for. Anyway, the choux got piped and baked.

Paris Brest choux pastries straight from the oven

The smell while making the Crème Patissière was divine. I’m a sucker for custard and crème pat is basically custard thickened with flour and corn flour. The filling for the Paris Brest saw praline paste added first then later lots of soft butter. Mixing all the way. Soooo rich. This was piped in rosettes between the 2 halves of the choux ring.

When my 6 Paris Brest emerged from the oven my first thought was, “you’re gonna need a bigger Tupperware.” It got messy getting the last 2 into a resealable bag. They didn’t transport well.

All said and done, these 3 sweet delights aren’t my kinda thing. I definitely have a sweet tooth but I’m weird in the world of sweet things. I’m not one for pastries per se but I love me a bit of cake. I love biscuits too, but only with a cuppa tea. The only other time I drink tea is when I’m eating a bacon sandwich, usually with a hangover. When it comes to desserts, especially restaurant desserts, I have stringent qualification criteria. If it doesn’t have chocolate, it ain’t a dessert. To me, fruit is punishment. What did I do to deserve this? Was I naughty? Strange for someone who grew up eating lemon cheesecake, apple pie and custard, pears and cream, strawberry trifle, etc. At best fruit is a permissible garnish.

I’m so glad I didn’t sign up for the Grande Diplôme with its 6 months of pâtisserie in addition to cuisine.