Paris-Brest and pots of summer trifle with a bit of mother’s ruin!

Blogger and lifestyle writer Donna Holland, who originates from Howden but is currently living overseas, shares some of her favourite, seasonal recipes:


If you’ve been to France, you’ll no doubt have seen this; the most famous of French desserts! A real showstopper, the Paris–Brest comes out on special occasions and holidays, in fact pretty much for any celebration since its invention in 1910! I realise not everyone will want to bother making choux pastry, but, if you’ve made profiteroles before, you’ll know it’s not that difficult! The fabulous thing about the ring shape is that you can fill it with anything really, which is great during the summer months when there’s an abundance of berries. You can fill it with a traditional French mousseline cream or just fresh cream. I like to add a little tartness in the form of a good dollop of lemon curd, then fill with vanilla cream – it’s not too sweet – and bang in a ton of strawberries or raspberries! 

P.S. You can add sliced almonds and hazelnuts to the top for added crunch! 


Donna x 

Choux pastry


  • 70g of milk.
  • 70g of water. 
  • One inch of salt.
  • 60g unsalted butter.
  • 90g fine bread flour.
  • Three eggs (no more than 150g in weight in total).


  • Bring the milk, water, salt and butter to the boil. 
  • Make sure the butter is fully melted before reaching boiling point. 
  • Remove from the heat and add the flour immediately. 
  • Stir with a wooden spoon and then return to the heat and beat the dough with the spoon. 
  • Keep doing this for a few minutes to dry the dough out a bit. 
  • It should come away from the sides of the pan easily. 
  • Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and rest for five minutes.
  • Now add the eggs and stir in, one at a time. 
  • Once all the egg is combined and the batter is shiny and firm, transfer it to your piping bag. 
  • Draw a circle on your parchment paper and turn the paper over. 
  • Pipe the outer ring and then continue inwards, piping one more ring, making sure the joins are not in the same place. 
  • Then pipe one on its own the same size as the first ring. 
  • Bush lightly with egg wash. 
  • Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 40 to 45 minutes. 
  • Let it cool now. 
  • Slice the bigger ring in half horizontally, carefully. 
  • Place the smaller ring inside the bottom half of the big ring.

Cream filling

 Whip together the following:

  • 450mls of whipping cream.
  • Two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • 20g of icing sugar (more if you want).


  • Pipe your cream on the bottom half using a medium sized tip. 
  • You can add another layer of cream to gain height. 
  • Fill with the fruit or berries of your choice. 
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Pots of summer trifle with a bit of mother’s ruin! 

The Paris Brest is a bit of a faff, so here’s something a little less demanding but just as delicious for your summer gatherings. You can cheat all the way with this one! Or, if you are like me, you’ll be #homemade all the way! Either way, the outcome is the same; I won’t judge, I promise! 

Donna x 

Serves eight in small glasses.



Four madeleines or use any plain sponge or lady fingers. 

One glass of your favourite botanical gin and tonic to pour over the sponge. 

120mls of vanilla custard. 

One teaspoon of finely chopped pistachios.

20g of white chocolate chips. 

100g of fresh raspberries. 

Two ripe peaches, sliced, or used tinned. 

1One tablespoon of raspberry compote or coulis. 

Eight meringue kisses (See the for my recipe).


To make the mascarpone mix, whisk together:

200g of mascarpone. 

50mls of whipping cream 

20g of icing sugar 

Two teaspoons of vanilla extract. 


How to:

This is more of an assembly job than a recipe! 

So, do that and enjoy! 


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