Hazelnut Paris-Brest

Recipe from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

Notes: This blog was started in part to visually document recipes that I try out. So the absence of a picture to accompany this post is unique. My defence is that the dessert got eaten before I could take a photo. Dr. S had a research group from out of town come over for dinner, and I thought to make something using hazelnuts given the previous hazelnut experiment.

In Yard's book, I found a recipe for a Paris-Brest and made the hazelnut cream variation. After piping out the three concentric rings, I still had quite a bit of batter leftover, so I piped two more rings on top to fill in the gaps. With the remainder, I made about twenty cream puff shells. Unfortunately, the ring didn't puff up very much in the oven. It was also slightly damp in the middle by the time the exterior browned. After it cooled sufficiently, I sliced it in half to let it dry out a bit, and covered it loosely with foil.

The filling had two parts: making the hazelnut paste and then incorporating that into a batch of vanilla pastry cream. I boiled the nuts in an alkaline solution as before, and ground the nuts in a mini food processor with a bit of grapeseed oil. The resulting paste was delicious and was wonderful spread on toast. The pastry cream came together easily and smelled incredible once the hazelnut paste was mixed in.

All in all, this is an impressive looking dessert that drew raves. I'll have to make it again sometime and get a photo posted.

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