Recipes, Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis, Le Barnardin, restaurant, New York, NY, Manhattan, Executive Pastry Chef, Cocoa Paris-Brest, Pate a Choux, Choux Puffs, Chocolate



The Creative Director at the Institute of Culinary Education and previously the Executive Pastry Chef of Le Bernardin in New York.


The award-winning chef is known as one of the foremost pastry chefs in the United States for his outstanding expertise and exquisite desserts.

Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis

Cocoa Paris-Brest

Courtesy of Michael Laiskonis

This recipe is a great example of where I am in terms of my personal evolution, in that I’m seeking to rediscover some of the enduring pastry classics, in this case, the choux-based Paris-Brest. By filtering the original through my own filters, I’m hoping to add a personal touch. Here I’ve added cocoa and chocolate into the mix.


3 dozen individual choux puffs

Cocoa Paris-Brest

Photograph courtesy of Michael Laiskonis


Vanilla Pastry Cream

- 7 ounces/200 grams whole milk

- 3 ounces/90 grams heavy cream

- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

- 2 large egg yolks

- 2 ounces/60 grams granulated sugar

- 2 tablespoons/15 grams cornstarch

- 1 sheet gelatin, previously bloomed in cold water

- 0.5 ounce/15 grams unsalted butter

Cocoa Pate À Choux

- 6 ounces/180 grams water

- 4 ounces/120 grams whole milk

- 4 ounces/120 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

- 1 ounce/30 grams sweetened condensed milk

- ½ teaspoon/2 grams fine sea salt

- 4.5 ounces/140 grams all purpose flour

- 0.5 ounce/15 grams cocoa powder

- 4 large eggs

Cocoa Paris-Brest

- Cocoa Pate À Choux

- 1 egg, for egg wash

- Water, as needed

- Sliced almonds, as needed

- 8 ounces/240 grams Vanilla Pastry Cream

- 4 ounces/120 grams unsalted butter, softened

- 3 ounces/90 grams hazelnut praline paste

- Confectioner’s sugar, as needed


Vanilla Pastry Cream

1) Place milk, cream, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2) Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch.

3) Remove the milk form heat and carefully whisk in to the egg yolk mixture.

4) Return to the pan and to medium heat, stirring constantly, just until combined mixture begins to boil.

5) Remove from heat.

6) Stir in the gelatin and transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl, discarding the vanilla pod.

7) Allow to cool and then stir in the butter until incorporated.

8) Store tightly wrapped, under refrigeration.

Cocoa Pate À Choux

1) Place water, milk, butter, and salt into saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil.

2) Add the flour and cocoa all at once to the boiling mixture.

3) Stir with wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until a smooth mass forms.

4) Keep cooking and stirring it around over moderate heat to dry out the dough as much as possible, about 2 to 3 minutes.

5) Transfer dough to mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed to release steam and cool a bit for one minute.

6) At low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated between additions.

7) The dough should look smooth and glossy.

Cocoa Paris-Brest

1) Transfer cocoa pate à choux dough to a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe out as desired.

2) Beat one egg yolk with 1 ounce water to make an egg wash.

3) Liberally sprinkle the sliced almonds over each puff.

4) Place in pre-heated 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 300 degree F to continue baking for about 20 minutes more, until the interior of each puff has begun to dry.

5) Meanwhile, combine butter and praline paste in a mixer bowl and whip until thoroughly combined. Slowly add pastry cream.

6) Briefly chill the mixture while the choux puffs cool.

7) Split each choux puff in half; place the praline mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip.

8) Pipe a ring of the filling onto the bottom of each puff and gently replace the top.

9) Dust with confectioner’s sugar.



Q & A
Q & A../../../../Restaurants/Entries/2011/4/12_michael_laiskonis.html../../../../Restaurants/Entries/2011/4/12_michael_laiskonis.htmlshapeimage_13_link_0

Photograph courtesy of Michael Laiskonis

Creative Director - Institute of Culinary Education - New York, NY


Michael Laiskonis’ recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Chicago, Michigan, Washington DC, and Tokyo.


Institute of Culinary Education


Culinary Training / Classes

50 West 23rd Street

New York, NY 10010



F.E.D. Travel Guides
Find a travel guide »../../../../../guide/download_guides.html../../../../../guide/download_guides.htmlshapeimage_26_link_0