Paris Brest Cupcakes
429g all-purpose flour
265g caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
375ml of milk
125ml vegetable oil
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp Greek yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 large eggs
icing sugar to dust
Pastry Cream Frosting:
500ml of milk (hot)
6 egg yolks
4 tsp gelatin powder
300g butter (cut into cubes and cold)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
125g unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
220g all-purpose flour
100g flaked almonds (optional)
Pastry Cream Frosting
Add gelatin to a mixing bowl. Pour 4 tbsp water over it. Give it a stir and set it aside to bloom and soak up the water,
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
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.
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.
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.
To make thin custard filling, microwave for 1 min, take about 1 cup of custard and add 175ml warm milk to it. Stir until well combined.
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.
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.
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.
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit the end of a piping bag with a 1cm round piping tip and pipe out small rings about 5-6cm in diameter. Use your fingers to brush the rings with an egg wash (1 egg and 2 tsp milk whisked together). Sprinkle with flaked almonds
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.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (320F) or 180C (356F) for a conventional oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
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.
Next, add milk, eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 1 day. After that the choux pastry begins to soften and the pastry cream will dry out. Cupcakes, and pastry cream can be prepare the night before and then all put together the day of. (Refrigerated).
EQUIPMENT: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or wooden spoon. Take care not to over mix the batter
OVEN TEMPERATURE: If you’re baking at home set your fan forced oven to 160C (320F).
BAKING TIME: These cupcakes typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cupcake recipes. That’s what helps get that gorgeous even dome shape on top. The cupcakes don’t dry out. Bake your cupcakes for 20 min. If you insert a skewer and it comes out with wet batter, bake for an extra 5 min until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.