Thursday, March 1, 2007

St. Honore and Paris Brest

Today we finished our St. Honore and Paris Brest. The St. Honore (named after the patron saint of bakers, no joke) starts with the inverted puff pastry that I mentioned previously. It is topped with a ring of Pate Choux, which is the same dough used for eclairs and cream puffs. Inside the ring we put some sauteed apples, but you could use almost any fruit, or no filler at all. Then it was filled with a Chiboust Cream, which is a kicked-up pastry cream. We piped several spheres of the Pate Choux, which we then filled with the Chiboust Cream and dipped in caramel, then stuck to the ring of choux with more caramel. Carlos did a great job of piping the cream, which you can see in the photo to the right.

The Paris Brest was also made with a large ring of Pate Choux, which we then cut in half and filled with carmelized roasted hazelnuts and a hazelnut buttercream. Then we covered the hazelnut buttercream with another layer of pate choux, topped off with granulated almonds and powdered sugar. I wish I could send you all a sample of the Paris Brest, because it is absolutely to die for! Just awesome. The hazelnut buttercream starts with traditional buttercream, mixed with an equal part of pastry cream, and flavored with hazelnut paste. When I die, I want them to bury me in hazelnut buttercream.

I did not get a good picture of the Paris Brest, so you don't get to see it here. Anyway, it doesn't photograph as good as it tastes. Interestingly, the Paris Brest was named after an annual bicycle race between the two cities, when a marketing-savvy baker decided to bake his pastry in the shape of a bicycle wheel.
I took the Paris Brest to the bank after class, and got the first 2 orders of my pastry career! One of the girls wants me to make her one for her mother's and father's birthdays. Pretty cool.

For my part, I tried to make the song of the day "Chiboust, Chiboust..." sung to the tune of "Shaboom, shaboom, na na na na na na na na, shaboom, shaboom..." but it didn't stick too well.

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