Thanks to Eric Lanlard and Voyages-sncf.com, I have learnt something new. I had never heard of a Paris-Brest patisserie before watching Eric’s video showing #TheEasyWay to make it, so, intrigued, I made further investigations immediately!
According to my research, the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) was originally a 1200 km bicycle race, inaugurated in 1891, which left Paris for Brest and returned again to the capital. It is one of the oldest cycling events still regularly run but the last time it was operated as a race was in 1951. There seem to be two bicycle tours – one is the brevet in which cyclists ride individually with the aim of completing the course within 90 hours, held every four years. The other is an addax where cyclists ride in a group and this is held every five years.
The Paris-Brest pastry was created in 1910 to commemorate the great Paris–Brest race. It is made of a choux pastry with a praline-flavoured cream and is circular in shape to represent a wheel or a tyre. It became highly popular with riders on the Paris–Brest cycle race due to its energy-giving high calorific value and is now found in patisseries all over the world. Indeed, Wikipedia tells me that Alan Richman of GQ Magazine named the Paris–Brest pastry at the Balsan restaurant of the Elysian Hotel (now Waldorf Astoria Chicago), Chicago the best dessert in the U.S. for 2010!
Having looked at Eric’s ingredients, I suggest taking a high-energy spinning class before eating a Paris-Brest otherwise you might take on a rounder shape yourself!
For the full recipe and video of how to make a Paris-Brest Eric Lanlard style #TheEasyWay, click here. It’s the perfect patisserie to serve as you watch the Tour de France this summer!
Contributor: Sue Lowry Photographs by Neil Armstrong for Voyages-sncf.com
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