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Paris-Brest Cupcakes

The Scran Line

Say "bonjour" to your new fave dessert: vanilla bean cupcakes topped with Paris–Brest, a custard-filled French choux pastry.



  • Makes 20
  • 429 grams all-purpose flour
  • 265 grams caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 375 milliliters of milk
  • 125 milliliters vegetable oil
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • Pastry Cream Frosting:
  • 500 milliliters of milk (hot)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons gelatin powder
  • 300 grams butter (cut into cubes and cold)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • Choux Pastry
  • 250 milliliters water
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 220 grams all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 100 grams flaked almonds (optional)

Let's get Cooking...

  1. Pastry Cream Frosting
  2. Add gelatin to a mixing bowl. Pour 4 tablespoons water over it. Give it a stir and set it aside to bloom and soak up the water,
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yolks, vanilla bean paste and the sugar and whisk until well combined and the mixture lightens in color. Add the corn flour and plain flour and stir until mixture is smooth Add 1/3 of the hot milk and stir well. Then slowly add the rest of the milk while stirring
  4. Transfer to a medium sized saucepan and stir on medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes smooth. You should be able to run your finger along the back of the spoon and it will be thick enough to not come back together.
  5. Add the gelatin mixture to the hot custard and stir until it melts and dissolves completely, then add the cold butter cubes and stir until well combined.
  6. Transfer custard to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow it to completely set. Whip up again right before you're ready to frost to get it to a nice smooth consistency.
  7. To make thin custard filling, microwave for 1 min, take about 1 cup of custard and add 175 milliliters warm milk to it. Stir until well combined.
  8. Choux Pastry
  9. Bring the water, butter, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
  10. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and film forms on the bottom of the pan, around 1-2 minutes.
  11. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool for 5 min. Using a hand mixer or a wooden spoon add 1 egg to the pastry dough at a time, mixing well each time. When you get to the 4th egg test to see if the mixture is sticky enough to not break when you stretch it between two fingers. If it's too dry, add the 5th egg.
  12. Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit the end of a piping bag with a 1 centimeter round piping tip and pipe out small rings about 5-6 centimeters in diameter. Use your fingers to brush the rings with an egg wash (1 egg and 2 teaspoons milk whisked together). Sprinkle with flaked almonds
  13. Place the unbaked choux pastry rings in the oven for 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 175C (320F) and bake until golden brown, for 25 more minutes. Take out the baked pastries and placed them on a wire rack to cool. Slice in half using a serrated knife.
  14. Cupcakes
  15. Preheat your oven to 180C (356F) or 160C (320F) for a fan forced oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  16. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand like texture.
  17. Next, add milk, eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.
  18. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  19. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way (using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
  20. To put your cupcakes together core each cupcake and fill with thinned out custard. Add a small blob of pastry cream to the top of your cupcakes to help stick the bottom of each choux pastry ring.
  21. Fit the end of piping bag with a Wilton 6B tip and frost a swirl of pastry cream on top of each choux pastry ring. Sandwich with the top half. Dust with icing sugar.