Paris-Brest from Balsan

Its name sounds like some kind of saucy Moulin Rouge burlesque, but this classic French pastry actually celebrates a 750-mile bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back. Balsan’s rich take nails it. Alissa Wallers and Andrew Johnson, the Elysian’s pastry chefs, painstakingly fashion a choux pastry ring to look like a bike wheel, then split it in two and fill it with an utterly debauched praline mousse that oozes with the slightest prod-ding from your fork. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and strewn with hazelnut nougatine crisps, this Paris-Brest has Lord knows how many calories in it. It’s worth every single one. Balsan, Elysian Hotel, 11 E. Walton St.; 312-646-1400.




Photograph: Anna Knott