There is a beautifully simple pastry, rich in taste (and calories) with an interesting and historical name: Le Paris-Brest.
It was created in the beginning of the 20th century in honour of a bicycle race which was held from Paris to Brest and back. The race is still held every four years (but not for professionals anymore) and the pastry is now one of the most popular traditional French pastries. It is made of choux pastry in a form of a wheel, split and filled with praline flavoured creme (crème mousseline that is actually crème pâtissière mixed with butter).
You can taste an excellent Paris-Brest in a bakery called Blé sucré in the 12th arrondissement, not far from Bastille. There the Paris-Brest is right as it supposed to be: with a rich hazelnut flavour and a perfectly baked airy choux wheel topped with almond slices. Some pastry shops and bakeries like to interpret the pastry in their own way by changing its shape or flavour of the creme. I am a more of a traditional person so I prefer my Paris-Brest round and hazelnut-y. Not far from the popular open market marché d’Aligre, Blé sucre is an ideal stop for after the Sunday morning stroll through the market.
Le Blé Sucré
7 rue Antoine Volon