What is one thing better than succeeding? Succeeding after you have already failed at least once. That is the story with this piece of cake. I had never had a tarte Tropézienne before and wanted to make one for the longest time just because something told me I would love it. So I tried and guess what? I failed miserably. The dough was absolutely horrible, oily, runny and not anything like it was supposed to be. The brioche itself was basically dry bread after baking and everything following was simply no better. I ended up tossing the entire thing, cream-filled and all. A short time later I was at my cousin's house for an impromptu tea party and she bought a "Beehive" cake, aka a version of this same tarte, from the local bakery. It was, of course, love at first bite and at that point I was even more determined to try again.
This one tops my list of favorites next to the Bourbon Canelés I made awhile back. This tarte turns out to be a sweet, soft and fragrant dough with a sugary, crunchy top, filled with of course my favorite filling. Remember me talking about one of my favorite baking cookbooks? I once again turned to Dorie's Baking Chez Moi for this adaption of the fabulous treat. This was also my first time baking with orange blossom water and I absolutely love it. I found it to go extremely well with the brioche and filling due to it's delicate floral notes. Get your hands on a bottle if you have the opportunity!
Orange Blossom Tarte Tropézienne
- For the brioche: combine milk and yeast and allow to stand for a few minutes until bubbly and dissolved completely. Into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle mix flour, sugar and salt, then add the dissolved yeast mixture. Allow for the mixture to come together before adding eggs, orange blossom water, and vanilla.
- Increase mixer speed to medium beat mixture for about 5-8 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. The dough should form a ball after a few minutes.
- Add the butter to the dough, one piece at a time with the mixer still running. Once all the butter has been added and incorporated into the dough, turn up the speed to medium-high and continue beating for another 8-10 minutes. At this point you will have a very silky ball of dough formed around the paddle.
- Remove the bowl of dough from the mixer stand and remove the paddle. Using a spatula or butter hands, go around the bowl pulling the dough away from the walls and allowing it to drop the center. Do this in order to create a somewhat flattened ball of dough. I find the dough to be very delicate and sticky so it's hard to do the traditional slapping method.
- Cover the dough in the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature until doubled in volume.
- When the dough has risen, use the same stretching and dropping method to deflate it. Place into the freezer for about 30 minutes to halt the rising process and then into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours (or up to 24) to chill.
- For the filling: meanwhile bring to a simmer over a medium heat in a medium saucepan. In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar, rice flour and salt until mixture lightens in color.
- Using a ladle or simply pouring straight from the saucepan, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly until completely combined. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and return to heat.
- Continue to whisk the cream in the pan until bubble start to break the surface and mixture reaches a pudding consistency. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter until completely combined.
- Transfer cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to cling directly to the surface of the cream to prevent a milk skin from forming. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours and up to two days if making ahead.
- An hour prior to baking line the bottom of a 10-in cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out or simply pat with your hands into a even circle to fit the cake pan. Transfer into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour at room temperature.
- Heat your oven to 400F about 20 minutes prior to baking. Glaze the dough with the egg and sprinkle generously with sugar. Place the pan of dough into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350F. Bake for 25 minutes until golden caramel in color, turning halfway through baking.
- Allow for the brioche to cool slightly before turning it out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- When ready to fill, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold into the chilled pastry cream. Slice the brioche in half horizontally and spread the cream on the bottom half and cover with the top half. Chill at least an hour (or up to 8) to allow for the cream to set up before serving. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed (about 110 degrees F)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp orange blossom water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
- 7 Tbsp unsalted butter (preferably european), at room temperature.
- Pearl sugar (or crushed sugar cubes) for topping
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a dash of water for glazing
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup rice flour (or cornstarch)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (or paste)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (preferably european)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream