Starting the New Year with a bang...

Happy 2014 to everyone out there in blog land. For those of you who are health/weight conscious or have made a diet related New Years resolution - LOOK AWAY NOW. This post is not for you!

I thought I would start the year with one of my favourite desserts - a Paris Brest. It's a totally over the top dessert and there isn't anything healthy or slimming about it - well maybe just the bananas! But it tastes so good! Whats not to like - a light crunchy choux pastry, heaps of whipped cream, fresh bananas, and a gooey rich caramel sauce. This one is going to a family lunch and I know there won't be any coming home with me!

Adapted from a recipe by Josh Emett
100g butter - cubed
pinch of salt
250 ml water
2 tspns sugar
125 g plain flour - sifted
3 large eggs (or 4 small ones) - lightly beaten with fork

Caramel Sauce:
100 g butter - chopped
140 g brown sugar
125 ml (single) cream

To Serve:
300 ml cream - whipped (with 1 tspn sugar &
1 tspn vanilla essence)
3 - 4 bananas - sliced & tossed in juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 c slivered almonds - lightly toasted

Pre heat oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20 cm circle on the paper, then turn over. 

Combine butter, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then stir in the sifted flour and sugar. Cook the mixture over a medium heat stirring the whole time until the mix comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

Using an electric beater start beating the dough, adding a 1/4 of the beaten eggs at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a large plain tip nozzle, and pipe the mixture around the circle on the baking paper. Pipe another circle just inside the first circle, and then pipe a third circle on top of the first two circles. Gently smooth any gaps in the pastry together with wet fingers.

Bake for 10 mins at 200 C, then reduce heat to 180 C for a further 10 - 15 mins until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Turn oven off, puncture the sides of the pastry with a small knife to let the steam escape. Leave the oven door slightly ajar for pastry ring to cool.

Once cool cut the pastry ring in half and place the bottom half on a serving plate. Pipe the bottom half with whipped cream, and gently lay the bananas on the cream, overlapping each slice as you go. Drizzle the bananas with a little caramel sauce, and gently place the top half on top of the bananas and cream. Drizzle the top with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the toasted slivered almonds. Serve within a couple of hours.

Serves 6 - 8

To make Caramel Sauce - place the butter, cream, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer rapidly for 5 - 8 mins or until the sauce is thick. Remove from heat and cool. 


 All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2014


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