Tarte Tropézienne Recipe

Serves 8

The Tarte Tropézienne was originally created by Polish immigrant Alexandre Micka who owned a patisserie in Saint Tropez. It was whilst Brigitte Bardot was there on location filming “And God Created Woman” in 1955 that Mr. Micka, who was hired as the film crew’s caterer, served this scrummy cake to the cast. Brigitte Bardot fell in love with the cream filled brioche and suggested it was called Tarte Tropézienne.

Brioche dough:

  • 400g flour

  • 15g baker's yeast

  • 10g salt

  • 30g sugar

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 100g unsalted butter

  • 1 egg yolk (glaze)

Cream filling: (best made the day before)

  • 280g milk

  • 170g whipping cream (low fat)

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 50g brown sugar

  • 20g crème pâtissière powder

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 3 gelatine sheets

  • 250g mascarpone

  • 3 cl orange blossom water

  • 2cl kirsch

  • 200g whipped cream (for the finish)

Topping:

  • 50g slightly salted butter

  • 50g brown sugar

  • 50g almond meal

  • 50g flour

  • 50g pearl sugar

Method:

Preparation the day before:

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water.

  2. Pour the milk and whipping cream in a saucepan.

  3. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Add the pod and seeds to the milk.

  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and castor sugar until pale and fluffy.

  5. Add the crème pâtissière powder.

  6. Combine well with a whisk.

  7. When the milk starts boiling pour over the egg mixture.

  8. Combine well with a whisk.

  9. Transfer the preparation back into the saucepan used to boil the milk and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Make sure the preparation does not stick to the pan.

  10. When the preparation starts to thicken, cook for one more minute and transfer into a bowl.

  11. Strain the gelatine sheets and squeeze to extract as much water as possible.

  12. Add the strained gelatine to the hot crème pâtissière and whisk until fully dissolved.

  13. Mix in the mascarpone with a hand mixer to avoid lumps.

  14. Add the kirsch and orange blossom water.

  15. Transfer into a bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in the fridge for 24 hours.

The following day:

  1. For the brioche dough, dilute one quarter of the flour and the yeast in warm water. Work until you obtain a soft consistency. Reserve in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.

  2. Shape the remaining flour into a well. In the centre, add the eggs, salt and sugar.

  3. Knead, preferably with an electric mixer fitted with the hook accessory.

  4. Add the yeast.

  5. Resume the kneading until the dough has the shape of a ball.

  6. Add the softened butter.

  7. Resume the kneading until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

  8. Scrape the dough that is stuck on the sides of the bowl and then cover with a cloth and let the dough prove in a warm room.

  9. When the dough has doubled in volume, knock back with your hand.

  10. Set aside.

  11. Grease a baking sheet. For this step, I recommend using an oil spray for an easy release from the mould.

  12. Spread the dough into a round (26 cm diameter) then place on the baking sheet.

  13. Place a mousse ring on top of the dough and discard the dough bits outside the ring. This will give a round, regular shape.

  14. Let the dough rise in a warm room for about one hour.

The topping:

  1. In the electric mixer bowl, place the softened salted butter, brown sugar, almond powder and flour. Knead using the dough hook.

  2. Mix until the consistency is coarse and grainy.

  3. Add the pearl sugar.

  4. Work with your fingers. Set aside.

  5. When the dough has risen glaze the surface with egg wash, using a brush. (For the egg wash, mix 20 cl of water per egg yolk.)

  6. Sprinkle the glazed surface with the topping mixture.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4) and bake for 25 minutes.

  8. Remove the brioche from the oven and let cool. Set aside.

The filing (prepared the day before):

  1. Remove the cream from the fridge and beat with a hand mixer to give it a smooth consistency.

  2. Fold in 200g of whipped cream. Scoop the preparation into a piping bag.

  3. When the brioche has cooled down, slice in half (so it has a top and bottom like a Victoria sandwich cake) with a serrated knife.

  4. Set the top half of the brioche aside.

  5. Cover the base of the brioche with the cream preparation. Start at the edge...

  6. ... then pipe in a spiral motion, working inwards. The bag does not need to be fitted with a nozzle. Simply cut the end of the piping bag to the desired diameter with a knife; this will allow you to pipe the preparation into a thick lace.

  7. When the base is completely covered with cream, place the other half on top positioning it gently.

  8. Refrigerate until the cream filling is perfectly firm.

  9. When ready to eat, take your Tarte Tropézienne and hide in a darkened room with the door locked….otherwise you will have to share it!

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