Week 86: Tart Tropézienne

The bunch of French men I work with was raving about this pastry, tart Tropézienne, saying how delightful it is, and the unique taste of the cream making it incomparable to any other pastries. So, I just have to give it a try, don’t I? It seems like a rather obscure recipe and I didn’t find too many versions of it online. And of those I found, they seemed to vary quite a bit from one to another. Since it is a French recipe, I decided to go with the most French version I could find. Unfortunately, the recipe seemed a bit funky and I had to make some adjustments of my own.

Makes 4 rolls


For the brioche dough

200g bread flour

5g instant yeast

5g salt

15g sugar

2 medium eggs

30g whole milk

50g unsalted butter, softened

1 egg white (glaze)

For the topping

25g salted butter, softened

25g brown sugar

25g ground almond

25g plain flour

25g pearl sugar

For the mascarpone crème légère

140g milk

85g heavy cream (35% fat)

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

25g granulated sugar

10g cornstarch

2 gelatine sheets

125g mascarpone

5ml orange blossom water

10ml kirsch

100g heavy cream (35% fat), whipped to soft peaks

For the syrup

25g granulated sugar

25ml water

1 tbsp dark sum


1) For the brioche dough, measure flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the 2 eggs and milk. Mix using the dough hook until the dough is formed.

2) Add the softened butter and continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and non-greasy. At this point, the dough should be able to pass the “window pane” test.

3) Leave the dough to proof until double the size, about 1.5 hours.

4) Punch down the dough, and divide it into 4 portions. Roll each into a boule and proof each boule in a 3-inch cake ring.

5) Allow to proof the second time until the dough has doubled in size, about another hour.

6) Meanwhile, prepare the toppings by mixing the butter, brown sugar, ground almond and plain flour using the dough hook until well mixed. Add the pearl sugar and set aside.

7) When the boules have doubled in size, brush the top of each dough with some egg whites, then, sprinkle the toppings generously, covering the top of the dough as much as possible.

8) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C fan for 16 minutes, or until top of the brioche have turned a golden brown. Leave to cool, then, slice each brioche horizontally.

9) For the cream filling, pour the whole milk and 85g heavy cream into heavy bottom saucepan, and heat until tiny bubbles appear at the side of the pan.

10) Whisk egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl, then, pour the hot cream mixture into egg mixture while whisking continuously.

11) Bloom the gelatine sheets in cold water.

12) Pour the cream mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking continuously, the mixture on low heat until it has thicken. The cream should be able to coat the back of a spoon.

13) Pour the thicken cream into a bowl, and add the orange blossom water and kircsh.

14) Squeeze as much water as you can out of the gelatine sheets, and add it to the cream mixture, stirring to dissolve. Leave the cream to cool to room temperature.

15) Measure the mascarpone and whisk in your stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Slowly add the room temperature cream and mix until mascarpone and pastry cream is well-mixed.

16) Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and cling wrap, pressing the cling film directly onto the cream to prevent a skin from forming.

17) Prepare the syrup by adding the sugar and water to a small saucepan and heating until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rum.

18) Just before you are ready to fill the brioche, add the whipped cream to the pastry cream. If pastry cream is too firm, just use the paddle attachment and give it a few whisk on the stand mixer. Then, fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream to make the crème légère.

19) Fill the crème légère into a pastry bag, fitted with an open star nozzle (I used Wilton 1M), and pipe a generous amount of cream on each brioche base.

20) Lightly drizzle some rum syrup onto the top half of the brioche before setting it onto the cream. If the cream is too soft to hold the dough, allow it to chill for about 15 minutes until it has set before putting the top of the dough on.

I realised I am not much of a fan of orange blossom water. I think it’s a bit of an acquired taste. But I really do like the cream filling, which has an interesting texture, both light and creamy at the same time. I think these rolls are a bit too big. I could probably get away with 5, or even 6 rolls. And I believe the recipe should have enough cream filling for a few more rolls, as I have about half left.

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