In 1955, the movie . . . And Cod Created Woman was filming in Saint- Tropez, the chic beach town of southern France. A Polish pastry chef who had a shop there began selling his pastries to the crew and cast, including the young Brigitte Bardot. One of his preparations was a round of brioche dough, baked into what resembles a large hamburger bun, split, and spread with mousseline cream. He named it tarte tropezienne. Traditionally the pastry cream is flavored with orange blossom water. We flavor the cream with Nutella.
- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- Brioche Dough for Tropezienne
- Egg Wash
- 1 tbsp (12 g) Pearl sugar
- 1 tbsp + ¾ cup (240 g) Nutella
- 2 tbsp + 1½ cups (360 g) Pastry Cream
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Run a bowl scraper around the sides and bottom of the bowl of brioche to release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out, flipping and fluffing it, into a ¼- to 3/8 inch-thick round that is just slightly larger than the cake ring. Transfer the dough to the prepared sheet pan.
- Dip the bottom of the cake ring in flour and tap off any excess. Center the ring over the dough and press it down into the round of dough in one clean motion; remove the trimmings around the ring and discard. Brush the top of the brioche with egg wash. Cover the sheet pan with a plastic tub or a cardboard box, and let proof for about 1½ hours, until the dough has risen halfway up the sides of the ring.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (convection or standard).
- Brush the top of the dough with egg wash again and sprinkle with the pearl sugar. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes in a convection oven, 28 to 32 minutes in a standard oven, until the top is a rich golden brown and the center is baked through when tested with a toothpick. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. The uncut, unfilled tropezienne can be stored wrapped tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 week.
- Carefully run a paring knife around the edges of the brioche to loosen it and lift off the ring. Using a serrated knife, cut the tropezienne horizontally in half. Lift off the top and set aside.
- Place the Nutella in a medium bowl, add one-third of the pastry cream, and stir to loosen the consistency. Fold in the remaining pastiy cream. Transfer to the pastiy bag and, beginning in the center of the bottom layer of brioche, pipe a spiral to within ¼ inch of the edges. Pipe a second spiral of filling on top to within ½ inch of the edges. Replace the top half of the brioche and press down gently.
- The tropezienne is best the day it is made, but the dough can be baked up to 1 day ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature. The tropezienne can be filled up to 2 hours before serving and refrigerated.