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Paris-Brest

A classic choux pastry filled to the brim with delicious vanilla Crème Pâtissière and lathered with a sticky toffee and toasted almonds.

Paris-Brest

Serves 8-10

60g butter, chopped

¾ cup plain flour

3 eggs

2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Crème Pâtissière

4 egg yolks

½ cup caster sugar

⅓ cup plain flour

⅓ cup cornflour

3 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split

½ cup thickened cream

Toffee

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place butter and ¾ cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil. Add all flour at once and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined. 

Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until mixture comes away from the side of the pan. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. 

Whisk eggs in a bowl. Gradually add egg to flour mixture, beating well between additions. Add enough egg to form a paste that just falls from the spoon but holds its shape.

Trace a 20cm-diameter circle on a sheet of baking paper. Place mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle. Using the circle as a guide, pipe a large circle. Pipe a second circle directly inside the first. Pipe a third circle on top of the disc, using the groove between the 2 circles as a guide. Use a wet finger to smooth pastry down. 

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 

Reduce oven to 180°C. Bake for a further 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Turn off oven. Leave in oven with door ajar to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the crème pâtissière, use an electric mixer to whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add combined flours and stir. 

Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. While constantly stirring, add milk to egg mixture in a thin, steady stream. 

Return saucepan over high heat. Remove vanilla bean; discard. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Place in fridge to cool completely.

Transfer crème pâtissière to a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth. Add cream and beat until smooth. Place in a piping bag fitted with a 2cm, fluted nozzle.

Use a large serrated knife to split choux ring in half horizontally. Place bottom half on a serving platter. Pipe crème pâtissière over the choux base. Top with top half of the choux.

To make toffee, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, without boiling, for 5 minutes or until sugar completely dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until toffee is a deep golden colour. Remove from heat. 

Drizzle hot toffee over the top of the choux. Sprinkle with almonds. Set aside for 15 minutes to set before serving.

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