Paris-Brest with Hazelnut Praline & Roasted Rosewater Strawberries

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Prep 2hrBake 40-45minMakes 12-15 serves

Created by Make Me a Baker student Janine Cowen for her Graduation, this classic dessert has been elevated by the addition of a divine hazelnut praline crème mousseline filling and roasted rosewater strawberries.

"I picked the recipe because it is something I have always wanted to taste and try to bake, but I've never had the confidence to tackle such a complex recipe or even the know-how to make choux pastry. Reading all of the elements was overwhelming at first, but being able to calmly break it down and methodically follow the steps to produce the final dessert was so satisfying. It has opened up a whole world of challenging multi-element recipes for me to try," says Janine

Janine also suggests, when in season, roasting quartered fresh figs with a little brown sugar to replace the strawberries.


1 quantity Basic Choux Pastry
1 egg yolk, whisked with a dash of water, to brush
30g flaked almonds
Icing sugar, to dust

Crème Pâtissière (original recipe from Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning, Murdoch Books)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped 
250ml (1 cup) full-cream milk
250g (1 cup) pure (thin/pouring) cream
4 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour

Crème Mousseline
225g unsalted butter, softened
Praline Paste (Janine used a recipe from Serious Eats by Kristina Razon)

Toffeed Hazelnuts (based on a recipe from The Pastry School cookbook by Julie Jones)
20 whole hazelnuts
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
100ml water

Roasted Strawberries
400g ripe but firm larger strawberries, hulled and halved
2 teaspoons caster sugar
4 drops rosewater essence
Small pinch fine salt


    1. To make the Crème Pâtissière, combine the vanilla seeds, milk and cream in a medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from heat. Use a balloon whisk or electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale. Sift together the flour and cornflour, then whisk into the yolk mixture until smooth and well combined. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture until smooth and well combined. Return to the saucepan. Stir constantly with a balloon whisk over a medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer, stirring constantly with the whisk, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pass the crème pâtissière through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover the surface of the crème pâtissière with plastic wrap or a round of baking paper and refrigerate for 2 hours or until well chilled before using.

    2. To make the Toffeed Hazelnuts, gently insert a toothpick into the base of each hazelnut (being careful not to split them). Cover a benchtop under a cupboard or shelf with foil to catch the dripping caramel. Place a strip of double-sided sticky tape or Blu Tack on the bottom edge of a cupboard or shelf (this will hold the hazelnuts by the toothpicks). Fill your kitchen sink or a large bowl with about 3cm of water. Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and use a wooden spoon to stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil, occasionally brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals, until the mixture turns a deep caramel. Remove immediately from the heat and place the saucepan base in the water until the bubble subside to stop it from cooking. Remove the saucepan from the water and set aside for 1-2 minutes near the lined bench or until the caramel thickens enough to coat the hazelnuts. One at a time and holding the toothpick, carefully dip the hazelnuts into the caramel and then stick the toothpick to the cupboard or shelf using the sticky tape or Blue Tack so that the caramel drips onto the foil and a tail forms. It may take a few hazelnuts before the caramel has thickened enough for a good tail to form. Let the caramel set (it will take about 10-15 minutes) before gently removing the toothpicks from the hazelnuts. Place in an airtight container separated by baking paper.

    3. To make the Roasted Strawberries, preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with the caster sugar, rosewater essence and salt. Toss gently to coat evenly and then spread the strawberries, cut side down, evenly on the lined tray. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until starting to soften but still holding their shape. Place in an airtight container in the fridge until required (see Baker’s Tips).

    4. To make the choux pastry ring, draw a 12cm diameter circle on a piece of non-stick baking paper. Turn the paper upside down, line a baking tray with it, and use a little of the choux pastry to stick the baking paper to the tray. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

    5. Spoon the choux pastry into a large piping bag fitted with a 13mm (6B) French star piping nozzle. Using the marked paper as a guide, pipe a ring of choux pastry onto the lined tray. Pipe another ring of pastry around the outside of the first one, so that they just touch. Finally pipe a third circle of pastry over the gap between the two bottom pastry rings. Bruch the rings gently with the egg wash and then sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed, golden and dry.

    6. Immediately transfer the pastry ring to a wire rack and use a skewer to piece the ring on top about 8 times (this will allow the excess steam trapped inside to escape while it cools). See Baker’s Tips.

    7. Meanwhile, to make the Crème Mousseline, use an electric mixer with a paddle beater to beat the butter until very pale and creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Add the Praline Paste and beat on medium speed until well combined. Gradually add the Crème Pâtissière, about ¼ cup at a time, and beat on medium speed after each addition until well combined, scraping the bowl when necessary. Replace the paddle beater with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until the mousseline is light and airy. Transfer about three quarters of the Crème Mousseline to a piping bag fitted with a 15mm French star piping nozzle (see Baker’s Tips).

    8. Use a large sharp serrated knife to carefully cut the pastry ring in half horizontally. Remove any uncooked dough with your fingertips. Set the top aside. Pipe rosettes of the Crème Mousseline into the base of the pastry ring about 2cm apart. Then pipe another, slightly smaller, rosette on top of each Place a strawberry half, cut side down, between each of the Crème Mousseline rosettes, placing them so they overlap the edge of the pastry ring base and peek out once the lid is placed on top. Gently place the pastry ring lid on top and then dust with icing sugar.

    9. Place the remaining Crème Mousseline in a piping bag fitted with a 5mm French star piping nozzle and pipe eight small rosette at even intervals on the top of the pastry ring. Choose the best eight Toffeed Hazelnuts and carefully place one on top of each of the piped rosettes to decorate. Serve immediately.

    Baker's Tips

    • The Crème Pâtissière can be made up to 3 days before using. Place in an airtight container or a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.
    • The Roasted Strawberries can be made up to 3 days before using. Place in an airtight container in the fridge.
    • The pastry ring can be made up to a day ahead. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature. To refresh before filling, place on a lined oven tray in an oven preheated to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before using.
    • In warmer weather, the Crème Mousseline may become a little soft. If so, before piping place it into the fridge until it firms enough to be a good piping consistency before continuing with the recipe.