Tarte Tropézienne -San Tropez Brioche

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Tarte Tropézienne is a wonderful dessert which, was invented in 1955 in San Tropez. It seems to have been named by Brigitte Bardot who ate it often when she was working on a movie, And God Created Woman.

It is a brioche bread which is filled with a pastry cream which is lightened with cream and/or butter to make Crème Diplomat.

Orange Blossom Water is also used, in many of the recipes I checked. It is brushed on the lower layer of the brioche and can also be mixed into the pastry cream. Although the use of orange blossom water seems to be authentic I think it can be considered optional. It could also be replaced with other flavourings such as almond or lemon extract, or even with a little brandy or something similar.

Although there are several different components to the recipe it is actually quite easy to make, if care is taken in the preparation.

Make In Advance

Some elements can be done in advance, one one day, with the baking and assembly being completed on a second day.

Brioche does take a while to make with the dough being refrigerated for at least 8 hours, or overnight, though there are some recipes which don’t do that. For my brioche I usually do refrigerate it as it makes the sticky dough much easier to work with.

The pastry cream can also be made in advance and then just whipped to loosen it up before adding the whipped cream on the day of assembly.

For the brioche dough my recipes makes a double batch. That is to say I only use half the dough for the Tarte Tropézienne with the remainder being frozen for use at another time. So, if you wish, you can half all the ingredients for the dough to make just enough for this dessert. If you freeze the brioche dough I recommend that you use it within two or three weeks, allowing it to thaw in the fridge until ready to use.

My creme diplomat was very tasty, but I think it could have been a little firmer when piping. For that I might suggest using some more butter to mix into the pastry cream. As the pastry cream is chilled the butter should firm it up very well. If desired a little gelatine could be used too.

For mine though, I just used what is the recipe below and it did work well, although it was soft when eating, but very tasty indeed.

Tarte Tropézienne

My brioche baked well and was so light and soft and perfectly complemented the rich and flavoursome filling.

Tarte Tropézienne – Video

The full recipe of brioche dough can also be used for this simple Brioche

Tarte Tropézienne

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: DessertsCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Brioche dough(double batch)
  • 500g(3 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) strong white bread flour

  • 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar

  • 10g(3 1/2 tsp) instant yeast

  • 140ml(1/2 cup + 4 tsp) warm milk (about 42c/105F)

  • 5 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 250g(2 sticks+1 1/2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 2g(1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 medium egg and a little milk and salt for an egg wash

  • Pearl sugar to sprinkle over the top of the dough

  • Icing sugar for dusting.

  • Creme Diplomat
  • 360ml(1 1/2 cups) milk

  • 5 medium egg yolks(large in USA)

  • 75g(6 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 50g(1/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 50g(3 1/2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 5ml(1 tsp) orange blossom water(optional)

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 150ml(1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) double cream

  • Syrup (optional)
  • 160ml(2/3 cup) water

  • 65g(5 tbsp) sugar

  • 5 ml ( 1 tsp) orange blossom water


  • Make the brioche dough
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, place the flour.
  • Add the sugar and salt to on side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
  • Pour in the milk and then the eggs.
  • Mix everything together on a low speed for about two minutes until a shaggy dough is formed.
  • Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth and stretchy.
  • Gradually add the softened butter, kneading on medium speed, until it is all incorporated, this will take 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap then leave to double in size(1 to 2 hours).
  • Knock the air out of the dough and cover again, then place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. If the dough rises in the fridge you can knock it back again.
  • Make the pastry cream
  • Slice the vanilla bean along its’ length and scrape out the seeds.
  • Place the milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla bean pod and the seeds, whisk to mix in.
  • Heat the milk until the first few bubbles begin to appear at the edges, indicating that it is very hot.
  • In a bowl place the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the flour and whisk until incorporated into a smooth mixture.
  • Whisking all the time add a little of the hot milk onto the eggs, and incorporate.
  • Gradually add the remaining milk mixture, whisking all the while.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and, whisking constantly, bring it to a boil.
  • When the custard thickens and begins to bubble, whisk vigorously for one minute to cook off the flour.
  • Transfer the custard to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pushing it onto the surface of the custard to prevent a film from forming.
  • Allow the custard to cool and then place in the fridge.
  • Make the syrup
  • Place the water, sugar and orange blossom water into a saucepan.
  • Bring the pan to a boil and allow it to continue boiling for two minutes, then transfer the syrup to a bowl to cool.
  • Day 2.
  • Divide the dough into two equal pieces and set one aside for freezing and later use.
  • Roll out the other half of the dough to a thickness of 1 cm(1/2 inch).
  • Cut out a circle of dough which is 9 inches(23 cm) in diameter.
  • Place a baking ring, greased, around the disc of dough(you can bake without this step too).
  • Cover the dough and allow it to proof until it has doubled in size(about an hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 170C/340F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg with milk and salt to prepare the egg wash.
  • Whisk the custard until it is broken up and loose.
  • Add the butter, which will turn the custard into pastry cream, and orange blossom water and whisk throughly until the mixture is smooth.
  • Place the cream into a bowl and whisk until it is almost, but not quite, at stiff peak stage.
  • Fold the cream into pastry cream, to make the creme diplomat, and the spoon it into a piping bag. Then place it in the fridge until required.
  • Transfer the dough to the parchment paper lined tray
  • Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle pearl sugar over the top.
  • Bake the brioche dough for 17 to 20 minutes, until it has risen and turned a nice golden brown colour.
  • Remove the brioche from the oven and leave to cool in the ring(if using), on the tray for a few minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When the brioche is fully cooled carefully slice it into two layers.
  • Remove the top layer and set to one side.
  • Pipe the creme diplomat/pastry cream onto the bottom layer of brioche.
  • Carefully place the top layer of brioche onto the pastry cream and press down gently.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar.
  • Refrigerate to let the cream set a little firmer before serving.


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