AT A GLANCE
Designed to resemble the wheel of a bicycle, this classic was created to celebrate the Paris-Brest cycling race. Ours is filled with a roasted almond crème pâtissière to complement the crisp choux pastry. A simple almond praline would make a lovely addition.
|01||Make choux pastry, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and refrigerate to cool and stiffen (30 minutes).|
|02||For roast almond crème pâtissière, preheat oven to 190C and roast almonds on an oven tray until browned and fragrant (5-6 minutes), then transfer to a saucepan, add milk and bring to a simmer. Set aside to infuse for 30 minutes, then blend in a blender. Strain into a clean pan through a fine sieve, pressing on solids to extract all liquid, and bring back to a simmer. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine, whisk in flour, then, whisking continuously, pour in almond milk. Return to pan and whisk over medium heat until bubbling, then continue whisking until thick and mixture no longer tastes floury (3-4 minutes). Whisk in butter, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until thick and chilled. Whisk again until smooth, then whisk in cream and Cognac and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.|
|03||With oven still at 190C, line a baking tray with baking paper, then trace a 20cm-diameter circle on paper with a pencil and turn the paper over so the pencil side is down. Using the circle as a template, pipe a circle of choux pastry, sealing the ends with a swift flick. Pipe a circle around the outside so they’re touching, but not overlapping. Finally, pipe a circle of pastry over the join where the 2 circles touch (it’s important to pay attention to the joins; if they’re not closed properly they will burst open during baking). Sprinkle with almonds and bake until golden (15 minutes), then turn tray, reduce heat to 170C and bake until very crisp and golden brown (20-25 minutes). Place on a wire rack to cool.|
|04||To serve, split choux pastry ring in half with a serrated knife. Pipe roast almond cream over base, sandwich with top and dust with icing sugar.|