Paris-Brest Pastry

The circular shape of the pastry, made from choux dough, is said to represent a bicycle wheel, thus celebrating the endurance of the cyclists participating in the 1,200-kilometer race from Paris to Brest and back.
Paris-Brest is made from choux paste

Paris-Brest is a tasty (zeppole-like) treat with quite a history.

The Paris-Brest pastry, a classic French dessert, offers a delightful journey through culinary history, encapsulating both tradition and innovation. Created in 1910 by pastry chef Louis Durand at the request of Pierre Giffard, a journalist, the dessert was designed to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race. This race, one of the oldest cycling events still run today, was initially organized in 1891 to boost the popularity of cycling and the sales of Giffard’s newspaper.

The circular shape of the pastry, made from choux dough, is said to represent a bicycle wheel, thus celebrating the endurance of the cyclists participating in the 1,200-kilometer race from Paris to Brest and back. The filling, a luscious praline-flavored mousseline cream, combines almond and hazelnut praline, adding a rich and nutty flavor that contrasts delightfully with the light and airy dough.

Paris-brest pastry has evolved over the decades and now is offered in many shapes and flavour.

Originally, Paris-Brest was a simple concept but quickly became popular across France. Its fame spread, highlighting the dessert’s connection to the cycling race and French culture. The pastry is traditionally sliced horizontally and filled, then optionally garnished with sliced almonds and powdered sugar, enhancing its visual appeal and texture.

Over the decades, the Paris-Brest has evolved, with various pastry chefs offering their twists on the classic recipe. Modern versions may include different types of cream, such as chocolate, coffee, or even fruit-flavored mousselines. Despite these innovations, the original praline mousseline remains the most traditional and beloved choice among enthusiasts of French patisserie.

Today, the Paris-Brest continues to be a staple in patisseries across France and has gained popularity worldwide, loved not only for its delicious flavour but also for its deep-rooted history that charmingly connects gastronomy with the spirit of cycling. This pastry not only offers a taste of French culinary excellence but also celebrates the enduring human spirit, much like the cyclists it honors.

Picture of Francesca Bakery

Francesca Bakery

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