white chocolate raspberry Paris-Brest egg yolk recipe

Guest Recipe: White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

Today is an extra special Guest Post. My lovely Irish guest, Hester Casey, is not only sharing a cracker of an egg yolk recipe with us, but it’s also the first anniversary of her blog, Alchemy in the Kitchen.  Congratulations on your first blogversary, Hester!

When Hester revealed she was making Paris-Brest, I immediately took a trip down memory lane with my girls this week to Maisons-Laffitte.  We lived there for 5 years just around the corner from THE Pâtisserie that created the Paris-Brest back in 1910.


This happy Monsieur, Louis Durand, was obviously over the moon!  What a clever idea, creating a pastry in the shape of a wheel especially for the famous bicycle race.

The girl serving in the shop saw us taking pictures outside. When I explained that I could mention it on le Blog and link up to them, she stared at me blankly with,”Oh, I don’t know if you can do that”. Well, voilà: check out the official Paris-Brest website at www.paris-brest.fr.

We bought a few mini Paris-Brests but would you believe, none of the minis were in the shape of a bicycle wheel!  They were more like a shell.  I’ll post the pic up on Facebook, if you’re interested.

These people need to market themselves, for goodness sake. Even the pastry box uses an email address rather than the website address.

They NEED YOU, Hester! Here she is now to show us her white chocolate and raspberry Paris-Brest.

Hester, Alchemy in the Kitchen

I’m Hester of Alchemy in the Kitchen. I’m one of seven siblings, and postcard Irish with auburn hair and a sprinkling of freckles. My home is Wicklow, “the garden of Ireland”, with my husband Chris, chief taster-in-residence.

Growing up in a large family meant our house was like a restaurant, with starter, soup, main and dessert each evening.  It was noisy, with everyone conducting at least three conversations simultaneously. Even though it was crowded, room could always be found for whoever happened along at mealtimes. How could I help but love food and the conviviality it brings!  To this day, I find it hard to prepare meals for fewer than 10 people.

When Jill invited me to guest post on Le Blog, I was thrilled. I’m a huge fan of Mad About Macarons and it is a real honour and pleasure to accept her invitation. Jill conveys her passion for great food and for Paris in equal measure, with a large helping of humour. I know when I read each of her posts they will have me drooling, or laughing,  or both – that gets messy. 🙂

White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

The egg yolk challenge is a great idea because who hasn’t – at some stage – got a bowl of forlorn egg yolks sitting in the fridge. Having been parted from their whites – who have gone on to star as Magnificent Macarons, Marvellous Meringues, or Superb Soufflés – the poor old egg yolk tends to be forgotten.

Egg yolks can achieve greatness too. After all, Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus using egg yolk-based paint. Botticelli provided a feast for the eyes – here is something you can get your teeth into.  Gateau Paris-Brest is a delectable choux pastry, named after the famous Paris – Brest bicycle race. The shape represents a wheel. Here it is in miniature, my Summery version with raspberries and white chocolate pastry cream.

L’inspiration…le vélo

White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest

For 10 – 12 gorgeous little pastries you will need…

Pastry Cream (crème pâtissière)

300mls fresh milk
50g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
15g plain flour
15g cornflour
4 egg yolks
50g good quality white chocolate, chopped

  1. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan until simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the vanilla extract and sugar until thick and paler in colour. Add in the salt, plain flour and cornflour and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Slowly add the simmering milk to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time (never add cold eggs to hot liquid unless you want scrambled eggs). Mix well and return the liquid to the saucepan. Continue to whisk over a low heat until the liquid has become a thick custard. This will take about 3 or 4 minutes. Make sure not to boil the custard or it will become grainy and may scramble. The custard is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and a finger pulled though this coating leaves a clean trail.
  4. Add in the white chocolate and stir until it has melted into the custard.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm, making sure the clingfilm makes contact with the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until ready to use. This can be prepared ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

Egg yolks – with the right company – are capable of greatness too

Choux Pastries

150mls water
50g butter
70g strong white flour/plain flour
A pinch of fine salt
2 eggs beaten

25g flaked almonds
You will also need a punnet of fresh raspberries
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan oven) at step 8
  1. Heat the water and butter together in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted and the liquid is simmering
  2. Carefully tip the flour and salt into the liquid in one go. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a soft ball of paste and no dry flour remains. Spread the ball of paste over the bottom of the saucepan and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. When the paste has cooled, add in the beaten egg a little at a time, whisking well between additions. An electric whisk is best for this job. You want a smooth glossy soft paste that will hold its shape so check the mixture as you go along as you may not need to add all the egg.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe circles of the mixture (approximately 8cm/3 inches in diameter) onto a lightly buttered baking tray, leaving 5cm/2 inches between circles. Scatter the tops of the circles with almond flakes and transfer to the oven. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and poke 2 horizontal slits in the side of each pastry to release some steam. Return to the oven for a further 2 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Assemble the little pastries just before serving: slice them in half horizontally. Beat the cooled pastry cream until smooth. For a really decadent touch, I sometimes stir a tablespoon of mandarin brandy into the pastry cream at this stage. Pipe onto the lower half of the pastry wheel and add fresh raspberries. Replace the top and dust with icing sugar.

We taste wheel-y wheel-y delicious!

These little pastries are perfect accompaniment to a daydream where you might cycle from Paris to Brest, or perhaps paint a Renaissance masterpiece – using egg-yolk-based paint of course!

Don’t you just love it? They really look wheel-y, wheel-y light-as-a-feather gorgeous, Hester!  This “rounds” up this month’s guest posts just beautifully. Merci beaucoup!

Don’t forget to cycle over to Hester’s blog, Alchemy in the Kitchen.  She is certainly creating plenty magic: have you seen her latest simple ingredient tricks? She transformed a normal tzatziki into an apple and lime tzatziki with lamb kofte.  Would you believe she also coaxed some Bramley Apples to talk to some vanilla fudge and pastry? Agracadabra: it became a Walnut Fragipane Tart with Apple and Fudge! Enjoy her blog, and please say congratulations from me!  Happy Blogversary, Hester!

46 replies
  1. Fiona Price
    Fiona Price says:

    Just happened on these delicious looking treats when surfing for recipes. They look like something they’d serve up on a many layered plate-stand for afternoon tea at the Ritz. Think I might try them out this weekend when I have the girls around. They look soooo impressive!

    Reply
  2. Sheena
    Sheena says:

    Happy anniversary Hester.

    This sounds like one to die for… Looking forward to baking,
    tasting and sharing.

    Sheena

    Reply
  3. Jessica Yates
    Jessica Yates says:

    I was privileged to experience some of Hester’s baking last weekend. There I was, minding my own business resting under a tree in the sunshine of County Dublin, when up popped Hester with a plateful of home made scones, a flask of tea …. china tea cups! She sure knows how to make the taste buds go crazy! I’ll be trying these for sure!

    Reply
  4. wendyb
    wendyb says:

    Pate au choux was the first baking item I learned to bake from my mum who was raised in France. I’ve never, however, piped the dough. Hmmmm, 6 boxes of organic fresh raspberries in the refrig and some Valrhona white chocolate…..might have to make these in the morning though I’ll probably eat most of them myself! Thanks so much.

    Reply
  5. The Harried Cook
    The Harried Cook says:

    Wow… These look SO fabulous… I only recently discovered Hester’s blog, but I haven’t been able to visit any blogs in the last week.. This is something I am going to make. Very soon! Thanks for sharing, Hester, and Happy Anniversary to your blog 🙂 Thanks for another fabulous guest post, Jill!

    Reply
  6. Amy
    Amy says:

    I have never heard of these type of pastries, but they are beautiful and sound delcious! So elegant looking with the raspberries peeking out from the middle with the rich filling!

    Reply
  7. Anne
    Anne says:

    These are beautiful and elegant. And I am certain they taste perfectly devine! I really enjoyed this post and look forward to visiting your site! Thank you to both of you ladies! : )

    Reply
  8. Sandra's Easy Cooking
    Sandra's Easy Cooking says:

    Thank you Jill for introducing one more fabulous food blogger..I love this recipe Hester, by the way congrats on the 1st blogoversary..dessert look amazing and pictures are fantastic..
    Both of you did incredible job on this guest post!!!

    Reply
  9. Manu
    Manu says:

    Oohhh so happy to find Hester here!!! That white chocolate custard sounds to die for!!!! And the final dessert is amazing… I’m just afraid I would not be able to resist the custard and there may not be any left by the time the choux are ready!!! hehehe Well done ladies! <3

    Reply
  10. Móna Wise
    Móna Wise says:

    Happy Bloggabirthday Hester,
    Oh, for a a wayward egg yolk and lonely raspberries.
    Gorgeous work as always and I loved the little blurb about your
    family life…..I felt like I was at the dinner table with you.
    Móna

    Reply
  11. Penny Reid
    Penny Reid says:

    If there are raspberries left in my garden when I get back to France, your latest creation will be on the menu, Hester! Mmmmmmmmmm

    Reply
  12. Therese
    Therese says:

    Hester,

    As always your blog is so delicious, entertaining and visually superb!! What a scrumptious mouth-watering recipe!

    Happy Blogversary!

    Reply
  13. Joan Morrissey
    Joan Morrissey says:

    I will feel no guilt pangs when eating this luscious creation for it is full of natural, good ingredients. As the french say-
    Bien manger; bien vivre.

    Reply
  14. Fran
    Fran says:

    OMG look good enough to eat. I lived in Paris many moons ago and was a (too) frequent visitor to their famous boulangeries. This recipe will bring me back . . .

    Reply
  15. Liz
    Liz says:

    OH, WOW!!! How could anyone resist these gorgeous gems. Beautiful recipe, Hester!!! And, once again, Jill, you have shared a most lovely blogger to inspire me 🙂

    Reply
  16. veronica
    veronica says:

    It is as interesting to read the blogs as it is to cook up the delicious treats. I intend to buy the ingredients today and place them in an orderly fashion on the worktop and see if the cooking elf(aka My husband) will get the hint! Thanks to both of you for the great writing and I will let you know how the elf gets on with the White Chocolate and Raspberry Paris-Brest.

    Reply
  17. Grainne Daly
    Grainne Daly says:

    Wow Hester, that looks gorgeous! Can’t wait to try it for myself! Scrumptious looking shots…mmmm

    Reply
  18. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Ah – Paris Brest. Not sure I will be making this anytime soon because I will be in an unfamiliar kitchen for a month but hey – it will be in PARIS so I will just pop down to the boulangerie and pick one up. Seriously, I am bookmarking this fro future reference though!

    Reply
  19. The Culinary Lens
    The Culinary Lens says:

    This is so great. I had never seen these as individual sizes.When I was training a long time ago this was one of the firs things I made with choux pastry. I am popping over now to check out Hester’s blog

    Reply
  20. Pierre
    Pierre says:

    Wow! That’s one serious looking Pastry.
    I tend to have the opposite challenge, egg whites, cos egg yolks would just go on to aioli. Hahaha… and I hate meringue

    Reply
  21. Liz
    Liz says:

    These look delicious! I am going to try to make them and mix egg yolks with paint -but not at the same time!

    Reply
  22. Conor Bowmqn
    Conor Bowmqn says:

    Hester Casey is a culinary genius. I have been following her blog and using her recipes for about three months now and have never been less than thrilled with the results. It’s about time Ireland put itself on the culinary map!!

    Reply
  23. Hester Casey - Alchemy
    Hester Casey - Alchemy says:

    Jill, thanks for being such a wonderful hostess and friend. I was thrilled to be invited to cook for the fabulous ‘Le Blog’. It’s the best blogversary present I could wish for. Good job these pastries are so light – I ate 4 in the process of photographing them 🙂

    Reply
  24. Three-Cookies
    Three-Cookies says:

    I didn’t know egg yolk was used as a base for paint. This may affect the shelf like of the painting perhaps. I suppose it also affects Paris-Brest’s shelf like but thats a non-issue – they look delectable and will disappear in no time!

    Reply
  25. Chris Warren
    Chris Warren says:

    I must confess to being the aforementioned chief-taster-in-residence. I can also confirm that Hester finds it difficult to cook for less than 10 people – and as there’s only two of us and her food is … well … probably the most tasty you are likely to find anywhere this side of the centre of the universe (apolgies to her Mum) … I have terrible difficulty maintaining a sylph-like figure (in fact I’ve given up now).

    Anyway, the point is, you just have to try it so have a look at her blog and indulge yourself. Happy eating.

    Chief-taster-in-residence

    Reply

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