I decided to combine these 2 recipes because the base of each is Pate a choux. If you’ve followed me at all, you’ll remember that Pate a choux is my favorite pastry to make because of it’s versatility. Eclairs, cream puffs, churros, cheese puffs and those giant caramelized towers called Croquembouche are all different adaptations of this single recipe. And I, of course, love the simplicity of that recipe. 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of flour, and either 1 tsp or 1 Tbsp sugar depending on whether you’re making a sweet or savory pastry. Pretty simple. So….after making the pate a choux, I piped it into 2 different shapes. The eclairs are self-explanatory, but Paris-Brest is named after the famous Paris bicycle race, and it’s shape is donut-like to represent the wheels of the bikes. Here are the pictures….
The eclairs are filled with a coffee flavored pastry cream and coated with a coffee glaze, and the Paris-Brest are filled with a hazelnut praline pastry cream. I made the pastry creams the day before for manageability. Here’s how mine turned out….
Choosing to make my own hazelnut praline; for ease, I would buy it in the future. It wasn’t difficult…….just time consuming. I decorated the eclairs with gold flake and cocoa nibs, bypassing the ground coffee beans in the glaze.