One of this month’s Tuesdays With Dorie assignments is the Tarte Tropézienne from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. It’s like a brioche cake with a delicious cream filling, and topped with pearl sugar. It sounds odd, but it’s really nom-worthy. This is supposed to be a beautiful cake, but mine turned out looking very “rustic.”
The brioche dough took a while to make; I started the dough one afternoon and finished it the morning of the next day. There’s a lot of waiting for this Tarte Tropézienne recipe to come together.
My yeast instructions said to add heated milk from anywhere between 100 – 110 degrees F. It only took a few seconds to get the milk up to temperature. Note to self, mix the yeast well while the milk is still warm.
Once the yeast was ready, it was time to start making the brioche dough. This basically meant throwing the flour, sugar, and yeast into my stand mixer for a few minutes.
Next, I added eggs, salt, vanilla extract and kirsch to the dough.
The dough was very sticky and thick. This was the first time my mixer worked so hard!
Butter was added, which lightened up the dough considerably.
The dough was pretty much done. Next came the time consuming part: the waiting. I had problems turning the dough out of the mixer bowl…because my mixer bowl was stuck to the base of my machine! My mixer must have been working so hard, it turned the bowl more and more into the base of the machine, locking it in. I ended up using brute force to get my bowl un-jammed.
While waiting for the dough to rise, I made the cream filling. It was like a pastry cream that was flavored with vanilla extract and a hint of orange.
Hours later, my dough grew in size and was ready to be deflated.
The dough looked so sad after it lost all of its air. More waiting came next after putting the dough in the freezer and then in the fridge. That’s when I decided to call it quits for the day.
The next morning, I rolled out my dough. I think this is where I got very careless. There are explicit instructions that said to take care to make a nice circle. My circle looked pocked and well… like this:
In retrospect, I should just roll out my dough on the silicone mat because I really uglified my dough when transferring it from my counter to the baking sheet. My dough also ended up rising lop-sided… So at this point, I had a sad lopsided round-ish dough to put in the oven.
When the bread came out of the oven, I saw that it had cracked. The color was beautiful, though.
The next flub on my part was cutting the brioche. I couldn’t really cut it in the middle, because there was so much of a dome on top in some places, and it was flat elsewhere. I ended up cutting it too close to the top.
In the end, it was still a delicious cake. The cream filling and the pearl sugar on top really gave this Tarte Tropézienne great texture. The Tarte Tropézienne was fluffier and lighter than I expected. I honestly thought that the insides of the brioche would be on the dry side.
I think I would make the Tarte Tropézienne again, but really only to see if I can make a less-rustic-looking version.
Tarte Tropézienne recipe is on page 79 of Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.
I think your tarte looks great and it sounds as though you enjoyed it which is most important of all.
Your cake looks fantastic. You are a harsher critic than anyone else. My cake had cracks on top and more oval than round. But that’s the least of my worry!
There was a lot of waiting in making this, but I loved the end result. Your tarte looks absolutely stunning.
Your tarte looks gorgeous and very much like the one in the book. I noticed mine rising lopsided and just rotated it to even out the rise but I think imperfections as part of the charm anyway.
If you had not pointed out the imperfections I would not have noticed. It looks great. I have had the lock bowl syndrome on my mixer when making bread too.
Rustic or not, it looks beautiful and delicious.
The tarte came out looking beautiful. I added more orange flower water and vanilla to the pastry cream, and also doubled the amount of whipped cream, and I’m glad I did. I think I slightly overbaked the pastry at 20 min., it was a bit dry. I had the same problem with my Kitchenaid mixer bowl getting stuck! I recommend stopping the mixing several times and loosening the bowl each time.