September 1, 2013

Paris-New York

The story behind this week's recipe is quite unique and interesting. This is a traditional French pastry, but is usually with an almond praline filling. However, to "Americanize" it, this version uses peanuts and peanut butter, which is so specifically and uniquely American. The filling is made up of buttercream, peanut butter, and diplomat cream, which uses both pastry cream and whipped cream. So rich!

Special ingredient: Nutella

I loved assembling the Paris-Brest. The structure is just so pretty. I liked this twist on the classic of having a peanut butter pastry cream filling. It was a lot of work creating it though from the pastry cream turned into diplomat cream, that was then incorporated with a buttercream and peanut butter. The flavor was fantastic. I will say I went rogue and did a couple of changes that I normally wouldn't do but I thought they would be okay without disrupting the integrity of the pastry.

I used about 25% additional diplomat cream because I didn't want the peanut butter flavor too intense so it was just perfect. I also did a little experimentation and spread Nutella to half of the base just so I can compare the two and see which I preferred. The peanut butter on it's own was delicious but I liked having the addition of the Nutella for an extra surprise of flavor. Before Nutella I even thought to use jam but thought the Nutella matched nicely. More on my blog:

standard bake and measure
variation: omitted diplomat cream

Another delicious pate a choux recipe! Again, this one uses 3 different creams plus peanut butter to create the filling. I chose to omit the diplomat cream because I again didn't want to make a whole batch of pastry cream just to use a little bit. So instead I used just buttercream and peanut butter together, which was delicious. I only had a little bit leftover, but I didn't fill all the pastries, only 2. The filling was so rich but still light, which I love about the buttercream.

I also thought about using jam like Jenn, but decided to forgo that for next time. This recipe felt like second nature, having made the choux so many times before. 

I had a guest photographer this week, my friend Nick (click for website) came over with his fancy photo equipment and we had a real photo shoot. It was a lot of fun trying different angles and settings and lighting. The end result is just beautiful, as you can see.  

Guest Baker: Julie

Check out Julie's blog for her results, she loved making these as well!

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