I had to share the great news; I’m finally the proud owner of my first car, a Honda. Our firsts are always special to us. My first school, my first best friend, my first love, my first phone, my first job, my first paycheck, and now, my first car! It was a really exciting moment when I brought it home. Acquiring a car is akin to new found freedom with endless possibilities of going anywhere, anytime.

My cute red Honda Fit is well worth all the effort and money that went into its purchase. Since the start of this year, I was determined to get my own car and it was only after scrolling down multiple Petites Annonces columns in papers, getting in touch with car agencies and dealers, testing different cars, getting heart broken over some and totally hating a few that I found my Honda in the end!

While not being a brand new sports car or luxurious sedan, my 2002 Honda Fit is a sturdy little car with a spacious interior. It comes with a package of useful features, multiple seating configurations and is automatic. I have yet to take it out for long distance drives but every short lapse I cover brings a tiny burst of adrenaline as my Honda picks up speed.

And to celebrate the event, I turned to a classic french pastry, the Paris Brest. Created in 1891 by a French baker, the cream filled choux pastry was designed in the shape of a wheel to commemorate the 1200 km Paris – Brest – Paris bicycle race. I thought of making a strawberry flavoured filling to match the car colour but with an abundance of nuts in the house, my four mini Paris-Brests got filled with a silky praline crème pâtissière. The recipe for this amazing dessert is adapted from Rogério of Pastry & Sports. Enjoy!

PARIS-BREST

 

Ingredients:

For the Pâte à Choux

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup cold water

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sliced almonds

For the Praline Cream

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup full cream milk

1 tbs all purpose flour

1 tbs cornstarch

1/2 cup praline

1/2 cup butter

Method:

  • For the praline cream, boil milk, then add praline. Mix and remove from the heat.
  • Beat the yolks and the sugar until the mixture become white, then add flour and cornstarch and mix again.

  • Now pour 1/3 of the milk on the yolk mixture and mix well, add the remaining milk.
  • Cook over a high heat for 1 or 2 minutes, keep whipping until the mixture become thick and smooth.

  • Allow the praline cream to cool to room temperature. Cover with clingwrap and reserve in the fridge.
  • For the pâte à choux crown, boil the water with the butter. When the butter is completely melted, add the flour at once.

  • Mix until the dough does not stick anymore on the pan. Then cook 1 or 2 minutes more to dry the dough.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool down 2 or 3 minutes. Now add 1 egg, mix well and add the other one, mix again.

  • Fill a pastry bag with the dough and on a oven tray make a ring with the dough (about 20 cm of diameter).
  • Depending on the size of the tip, make 1 or 2 more rings on the internal side of the first ring.

  • Then on the top of these, make 2 more rings and again one more over these lasts.
  • Glaze them with a bit of egg and water blend together and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

  • Bake for 30-35 min in a oven, medium heat and door ajar. When done, turn off the oven.
  • Leave the crown inside for about 10-15 min door open. Then, allow to cool out of the oven.

  • When the crown is completely cooled, slice it into two halves horizontally.
  • Whip the butter well with a whisk and add the praline cream in several times and whip again until smooth.

  • Put the cream in a pastry bag with a fluted tip and start to fill the crown. Cover with the other half crown.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a mixture of fresh berries. Serves 6.

 …and the dream comes true…

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