Chocolate Cherry Paris-Brest – light choux pastry filled with cherry pie filling and chocolate cream in an elegant presentation. This decadent dessert is easier than it looks and you can even make the parts ahead of time!
A French baker invented the Paris-Brest to celebrate a bicycle race from Paris to Brest. This ring-shaped eclair filled with praline pastry cream resembles a bicycle tire in honor of the race.
I love eclairs. Light pastry on the outside. Decadent filling on the inside. Ganache on top. What’s not to love?
When it comes to making them, everyone thinks you’ve slaved for days. But, nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes, they do take some time, but they’re much simpler than they look. And, if you only have short blocks of time, you can make the pastries and freeze them until you have time to make the filling.
You make the dough on the stove. Boil water, butter, and salt and then add flour all at once to the hot mixture. The heat turns the mixture into a fairly stiff dough.
I add my eggs one at a time while the dough is still hot. But I learned from my good friend Jenni Field, a trained chef, that you’re supposed to let the dough cool first. It works either way and adding eggs to hot dough saves time. And we all need more time, don’t we?
This dough is so easy, I made it in my kitchen in Cambodia. Jenni and I did a live video of it. She’s so fun and gives great tips. You can see the video on the Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs post
You don’t need a piping bag. Put the dough in a plastic bag and cut the corner off to make a 1-inch diameter hole and pipe using that. For cream puffs, I just drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet.
For this Paris-Brest you’ll make 3 rings of dough- two on the bottom and one on top.
I made little circles on top to make it a little more decorative but didn’t pace myself so ran out of dough. You can see the swirls stop in the lower right. No one noticed in the finished pastry.
I adapted Barb Kiebel’s amazing cherry pie filling for this recipe. You could use canned if you’re pressed for time but her cherry pie filling beats canned hands down.
Now for the chocolate whipped cream. My daughter gave me some To’ak cacoa for Mother’s Day. This gourmet cocoa is ethically sourced from Ecuador and the flavor is outstanding.
I’m not sure how they process their cocoa powder but this is amazingly smooth. Normally, I find unsweetened cocoa powder to be bitter but To’ak cocoa only has a slight, mild bitter aftertaste.
This means you can use less sugar and have a more intense chocolate flavor than other cocoa powders. At $18.50 per 8.8 ounce (250 g) bag, this is on the spendy side. But, this is a great gift for any chocolate lovers in your life.
My daughter also sent me some aged To’ak drinking chocolate. This chocolate is aged for 2 years in a bourbon cask. I guess it’s like the chocolate version of whiskey. The flavor is amazing!
The drinking chocolate has a little sugar added in so you can think of it like hot chocolate mix or you can make it with water. The package has directions for both European style drinking chocolate and American style hot chocolate. It’s not sweet like most hot chocolate mixes – just rich dark chocolate.
It’s a good thing that you only need 2 tablespoons per cup of drinking chocolate. A 7.1 ounce bag costs $38 and free shipping from To’ak starts at $40 so buy two and keep one for yourself.
Chocolate Whipped Cream
Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g