French Fridays: Paris-Paris from my Paris Kitchen

Cook the Book Fridays David Lebovitz Paris Paris from My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt’s an auspicious occasion today – this is my 2000th (!!!!) post on this blog since May 2009!

The recipe for Cook the Book Fridays from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen this week is a variation on a classic – Paris-Brest. That classic dessert is a large ring of choux-pastry, filled with crème pâtissière, created in 1891 to commemorate the Paris–Brest bicycle race. It’s supposed to represent a bicycle wheel and apparently became popular with riders on the race because of its energy-giving high calorific value.  We’ve made the original before, for French Fridays with Dorie (and I had a few issues with piping the large ring) and I’ve actually tasted the version David refers to in his recipe, at Jacques Genin (you can see it here).

David’s version here is not piped in a ring, rather, he’s chosen to make the classic éclair shape with the choux pastry and he’s also messed with the classic by adding a chocolate glaze on top SO, as he acknowledges, he can’t possibly call it a Paris-Brest (the French are particular about respecting tradition when it comes to classics!). Instead, he’s renamed his version Paris-Paris, with the shape being a nod to the straight line which is the route between Jacques Genin’s store and his apartment (lucky him!)

David Lebovitz Paris Paris from My Paris Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comMaking this dessert was not tricky at all (I love making choux pastry), though all of the components might make it feel a little fussy – it all comes down to advance planning.  You make the éclairs in advance. The crème pâtissière is also made in advance and once it’s been in the fridge and is completely cool, you fold some hazelnut praline (caramelized hazelnuts, cooled and blitzed to a powder – I used my mini hand blender set) through it to create the most decadent-tasting crème ever (addictive – danger!). For the glaze I used my own chocolate glaze recipe, just because…

All the components were transported to a dinner party last weekend in the middle of the massive snow and ice storm. I mean, hey, we didn’t bike from Paris to Brest but it did feel like we’d earned a highly caloric dessert! I assembled at the start of the dinner and allowed the éclairs to sit in the fridge whilst we ate the rest of the meal and brought them out just before we were ready to eat them.

David Lebovitz Paris Paris from My Paris Kitchen for Cook the Book Fridays on eatlivetravelwrite.comThese. Were. Spectacular.

‘Nuff said. And Ill be making that hazelnut praline crème again, this is a certainty. Whether it makes it into an éclair is another matter….

Get the recipe for David Lebovitz’s Paris Paris on p 285 of My Paris Kitchen.


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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.


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17 thoughts on “French Fridays: Paris-Paris from my Paris Kitchen”

  1. That praline was something else — in the pastry cream or just plain. I like the grated chocolate you used to to gild the lily.

    Congratulations on your 2000th post! That’s a lot of cooking, words, food, and photos.

  2. Congratulations!! What an accomplishment!

    Certainly thought of you as I was making this. Our resident Queen of Choux! Of course yours look spectacular! And Mr. Neil, must admit your pairing suggestion sounds perfect. This was a fun challenge!

  3. Congratulations, that is something to be proud of. I was determined to do this recipe correctly, and with all my do overs, I was pleased and they were delish. I loved the praline plain, I could have stopped right there but remembered I needed it for the pastry cream.

  4. Congrats on the milestone post! Looking forward to many more. Regarding the hazelnuts, because the recipe indicated untoasted nuts, do you buy hazelnuts without the skin on them? I always buy the natural ones and then remove the skins after toasting. I would be happy to know how you handled the nuts. Many thanks.

    • You must have the book, right because you know the recipe called for untoasted nuts. I didn’t give to too much thought, actually, and just used them with their skins on. Didn’t notice them once the praline has been blitzed to a powder… Saved a lot of time and hassle!

  5. 2000 posts! A big congrats, for sure! These sure were tasty, and I agree that the hazelnut praline in the pastry cream was quite lovely. As always, a beautiful dessert, Mardi!

  6. Impressive is the only definition I can use for you Cook the Book Friday colleagues. I’m over here in Éclair Country and yours look every bit as delicious and fabulous as those I see in the patisseries here. These will definitely be on my catch-up list when I get home next week. What I’ve so loved about this trip is that between Dorie and David, I’m ordering and eating food that we’ve actually made ourselves. For instance, we made Dorie’s Paris-Brest and I ordered it at Bofinger’s. As for David’s Merveilleux, I actually was at Aux Merveilleux de Fred’s main shop (he has 7) during a food tour and tried one. (Photo in early Paris blog post). Ro’s merveilleux looked just as gorgeous as those made at Fred’s. Our tour leader actually said to not try to make these at home! XOX

    Happy 2000th. That’s impressive also, Mardi.

  7. Congratulations on your 2000th post! It’s wonderful to have enjoyed your blog for the past few years, and looking forward to many more ‘000!! The Paris2 look awesome!!

  8. This is a very fitting post for your milestone. Congratulations! These look amazing – I am sure that these won’t prove quite as easy for me, but can only hope that they come out half as well done.


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