What does a bike race have to do with a pastry?

Yes, I’m getting to that, reader Jane. The Paris-Brest pastry was “merch” in the popular parlance. Which is to say it was created as a commemorative item by an unknown pastry maker somewhere along the PBP course. Exactly who that pâtissier was has never been definitively established, though it’s popularly thought that Paris-Brest was created for the 1910 race by one Louis Durand, a resident of Maisons-Laffitte which is just northwest of Paris. It’s said that he created it to look like a bicycle wheel. Seems plausible enough to me.

Thanks to the ever-resourceful Jim Chevallier.

3 thoughts on “What does a bike race have to do with a pastry?”

  1. Jacques Pepin has a great idea for a convenient way to serve Paris-Brest; that when you assemble the cake, you lay down the bottom ring in one piece, as usual, and then add in the filling, again as usual. But before you place the top ring atop, you first slice it up into serving-size wedges, and then reassmble the wedges back into a single ring in their rightful place as the top layer of the cake. Having it partially pre-sliced makes for a much cleaner presentation, since you’re not sawing through the top ring of cake, sending dangerous shards of pate choux flying off in all directions, causing mayhem and possible injury with your dinner guests.

    1. By no coincidence whatsoever, that’s exactly what my recipe below calls for. Not that I’d ever steal a good idea from a master like that. 😉

  2. We made these at our restaurant for the Tour last year- it was defiantly fun making pate a choux almost daily for a week and a half. We plated them with caramel bicycle spokes in the center. Very fun! I love the idea of pre-slicing too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *