Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples


 
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples
Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples

Hi hi! So sorry for the quietness around here, I have been working my little butt off on a really fun project which I’m super excited about - a little ebook for Heilala vanilla! They just launched their new range of flavoured extracts, and so I’m doing a wee recipe for each one, along with four vanilla centered recipes. I’m super jazzed about it, but oh man it’s been busy. They will be selling the recipe book on their site, so I will be sure to share once it is available.

I just wanted to pop on here and share this recipe which I worked on a week or so ago - Paris Brest with a Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream, and Spiced Apples. I had some brown butter streusel and spiced apples that needed using up, and i’ve been eyeing up a few Paris Brest recipes for a while, so here we are. Paris Brest is basically a circle of choux - what you would get if you baked a cruller instead of frying it. It’s tradituonally filled with a praline Mousseline, but I riffed a little on the filling. I topped the unbaked circles of choux with the brown butter streusel and some swedish pearl sugar, baked them off, and then filled them with the spiced apple mix and a custard mousseline cream, which is essentially a German buttercream but with a much higher pastry cream to butter ratio than German, which has lots more butter than pastry cream. I used custard powder for the super nostalgic taste - if you can’t find it in your supermarket you can get it online, but corn starch works great too. We always used to have baked apples for dessert with custard made with custard powder, so this is a slightly fancied up version of those I guess.

This probably seems like a whole load of steps. I promise it’s not - I like to make the pastry cream, streusel and spiced apple the day before, then the next day all you have to do is soften your butter for the mousseline, whip it up, bake off the choux, and assemble the whole thing. It probably seems daunting but lots of it is very easy to make ahead! You could even make the choux ahead of time too if you wanted - they freeze great in an airtight container in the freezer, just take them out 10 minutes or so before you need to fill them. Make sure that they are room temp before you slice them, so they don’t crumble. Happy Choux-ing!

A few wee tips:

  • This makes a lot. Like, 10 Paris Brest a lot. Good news though - everything halves perfectly. But also if you’re going to go to the work of making the choux you might as well use it. If you don’t want to make 10 paris brest, pipe out some cream puffs or something, freeze on the tray, and then store them in an airtight bag. You can bake them directly from the freezer. Baked choux freezes really well too in an airtight container.

  • The Brown Butter Streusel is totally optional - I just love how it gives a little additional crunch texture wise. It lasts a really long time so you can always make more and keep it in an airtight container in your cupboard. It has made it’s way onto so many things already on here - I keep making more to use in recipes, then make a recipe to use it up, etc etc.

  • The mousseline will keep in the fridge once you’ve whipped butter into it, but you might need to re-whip when you bring it back to room temp to get it the right texture. I often get it close to the right temp and then whip it in the mixer and blow torch the side of the bowl. PLEASE be careful if you do this and only do it if you have a metal bowl. Blow torch at your own risk.

  • The swedish sugar isn't necessary, but if you can get your hands on it, it's hugely worthwhile! I just sprinkled a little on the top.

  • I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients for the choux. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test.

  • I bake two trays of Paris Brest at a time, but if your oven can only handle one, save the egg wash and sprinkling step until just before you bake them.

 

 

Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples

- Makes 10-12 Paris Brest -

Custard Mousseline Cream
165g sugar
90g custard powder or corn starch
225g egg yolks
825g whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp salt
50g unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Spiced Apple Filling
900g Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small cubes
100g Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brown Butter Streusel
160g unsalted butter, cubed
200g Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
230g all-purpose flour

Choux Pastry
125g whole milk
125g water
110g unsalted butter, cubed
5g Kosher Salt
5g vanilla bean paste
15g Sugar
165g All-purpose flour
240g eggs, lightly beaten, plus more if required (see tips) 

1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Swedish pearl sugar for sprinkling, optional

- PROCESS -

CUSTARD MOUSSELINE CREAM

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and custard powder.

In a medium pot, warm the milk, vanilla paste, and salt until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 

Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in 50g of the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Transfer to a container or bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

When you are ready to assemble, place the remaining 250g butter in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the butter until it is smooth and creamy. Whisk the chilled pastry cream to help remove any lumps, then add a quarter of the pastry cream at a time to the butter, mixing until combined. Whip the mousseline for a further minute, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for 2-3 minutes to help remove any air.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip such as an ateco #867.

SPICED APPLE FILLING

Place the chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla into a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender, approximately 10-12 minutes. Do not worry if it looks dry to begin with - the apples will release some of their moisture as they start to cook down.

Transfer to a container and allow to cool completely. Store in the fridge.

BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps. Spread evenly over the baking sheet, and bake until lightly golden and toasty, 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

PARIS BREST

Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie cutter, trace 5 3” (7.5cm) circles on each baking sheet using a pen or a pencil, leaving some room for spreading (about 2” between each), then flip over the baking sheet so that the side with the drawing is facing downward. 

Fit a large piping bag with a large french star piping tip (ateco #867, #868 or
#869).

In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste. 

Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture. 

With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate. 

Transfer the mixture to the prepared piping bag. Pipe circles of the choux dough, following the guide of the template, applying even pressure and stopping the piping just before you close off the circle. Repeat until you have piped out 10-12 circles.

Lightly brush each Paris Brest with egg wash and sprinkle with the streusel and pearl sugar.

Bake the Paris Brest for 15 min at 400˚f / 200˚c, then turn down the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c, and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the puffs are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick, to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c, and repeat the baking process with the remaining buns.

ASSEMBLY

Once the Paris Brest are cool, slice each in half using a serrated knife. Fill the bottom half of the paris brest with the spiced apple mixture. Pipe a round of mousseline cream onto the top of the apples - you can do this however you like, I piped a continuous round of little circles. Top with the second half of the Paris Brest.

Best eaten on the day that they are made. Store components separately until ready to serve.

Paris Brest with Brown Butter Streusel, Custard Mousseline Cream and Spiced Apples. Paris Brest is a round baked choux ring, traditionally filled with a praline mousseline. I have riffed on that slightly, filling it with a custard mousseline, and spiced apples for a seasonal take on a french patisserie classic. #parisbrest #mousseline #custard #spicedapples

Apple Butter Macarons with Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream


 
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron
The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron

For the last couple of years, we have been part of a CSA. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” - essentially a farm upstate grows all the produce, then each week drives a truck down to drop off shares to a bunch of different CSAs. You pay at the start of the year, and then get to pick up seasonal veggies for 22 weeks! Each week is slightly different. It’s a great way to meet people, and the produce is always amazingly fresh. I became part of the volunteer group that runs it a few years ago - we each take turns running the pick-ups.

Anyway, where I am going with this is that I ran the pick-up last week, in the middle of a storm. I froze my wee fingers off, but it ended up being incredibly worth it, because due to the storm a bunch of people didn’t pick up, so I came home with a GIANT crate of apples. Like, crate that they use in the orchard. It’s way more apples than I know what to do with, so I’m going to get to it this weekend making some apple butters and pies so that we have them on hand in the freezer.

I popped round to Jase’s yesterday and we made these apple macarons! We filled them with an apple butter, and a swiss meringue buttercream which we spiked with vanilla bean, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and ginger. You can’t really get any more autumn than that. Fall AF.

A few wee tips:

  • I have included notes to make apple butter (which is really just reduced apple sauce!) in both the instant pot and the slow cooker. You may or may not have to reduce down the mixture using the slow cooker - it depends on your apples. You are looking for a thick apple puree or sauce consistency. Remember that it will thicken in the fridge slightly!

  • Using the instant pot you will have to reduce it more because the water does not evaporate. You can do this on the saute function, however I find this a little inconsistent in heat delivery, so prefer to switch it to the pot.

  • The Apple butter needs to cool down before it can be used - overnight is ideal. You will be left with extra - but it is amazing on toast or baking!

 

 

Apple Butter Macarons with Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Apple Butter
960g (2 pounds) apples, cored and diced
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
Maroon gel food colouring (we used maroon by americolor)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Spiced Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1/2 cup (123g) egg whites, or 4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

 

- PROCESS -

APPLE BUTTER

Combine all the ingredients in the pot of an instant pot. Seal and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, then quick release the pressure. Blend well using a stick blender or high powered blender, and transfer to a medium sized pot over low heat. Cook down for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently, until the apple butter has reduced to a thick paste (It will thicken slightly in the fridge). Transfer to a covered container and cool in the fridge completely.

Alternatively, to make the apple butter in the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours, until the apples are very soft. Blend either with a stick blender or a high powered blender. If the mixture is still reasonably runny (this will depend on the moisture content of your apples), transfer to a pot over low heat. Cook down, stirring frequently, until the apple butter resembles a thick paste. Transfer to a covered container and cool completely in the fridge.

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add maroon gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. 

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

SPICED SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small french star tip. 

ASSEMBLY

Place the apple butter into a small piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of the shell, then a blob of the compote in the middle. Place the second shell carefully on top. Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

The perfect Fall French Macaron - Macaron shells are filled with a smooth apple butter and spiced swiss meringue buttercream. #frenchmacaron #applemacaron