Tuesdays With Dorie – Tarte Tropézienne


When I first saw this in BCM I was intrigued. The cake is a little more time-intensive than many of Dorie’s other recipes, and when there is a challenge afoot, I am first in line.

The cake itself is a brioche scented with kirsch, made in a typical brioche manner, and then covered in small Swedish sugar bits before baking. Once cooled, you slice the cake open, and then fill it with vanilla pastry cream.

Overall no real surprises or challenges with this from a technique standpoint. My only beef is the use of corn starch as a thickener. I find it makes the pastry cream extremely thick, and I invariably have to sieve it (which I did) to achieve a more silky texture. Typically I use Jacques Pepin’s technique  thickened with flour, which has a nicer final texture, but as I typically do the first time I make something, I did follow the recipe exactly. Perhaps the cake needed something stiffer to support it’s “hat”? Lastly, while I did use the kirsch, I do have to say that I really didn’t notice its presence.

ETA: be sure to plan this in advance. It requires a lot of rest or rising time. I started it on Saturday afternoon through the chilling phase, and then picked it back up on Sunday morning for a Sunday afternoon finish.

The flavor of the cake is delicate, with the true star being the pastry cream. I could see this served with a glass of dessert wine… Maybe something light with hints of pear and apple, like an Asti, to complement the cake. Or even served as an accompaniment at tea. The sugar bits lend a delightful textural crunch, which I really enjoyed. What did you think, dear reader? Is this a keeper for you?

This entry was posted in Baking, Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Tuesdays With Dorie – Tarte Tropézienne

  1. Cakelaw says:

    Your tarte looks devine – I loved this one. I used kirsch and didn’t notice it either.

  2. This is definitely a keeper. Interesting re: you r pastry cream – I found it to be sturdy enough to “stand up” to the brioche but I made tiny ones so perhaps that’s it. Nicely done – yours is beautiful!

  3. peggythebaker says:

    Yours is beautiful! I agree about the planning time needed. I have notes about timing all over the recipe!

  4. To me, cornstarch in the pastry cream is suspect. The cream was lumpy and thick. I have too many complicated thoughts about this cake. Won’t be making this for a while. Yours is everything like what it is supposed to look!

  5. Zosia says:

    Your tarte is just lovely and this recipe is a keeper for me. I didn’t have issues with the pastry cream but I’ve never made it with flour – I’ll have to look up Jacques Pepin’s recipe.

  6. Teresa says:

    I’ve always used the cornstarch method for pastry cream – I’ll have to investigate Pépin’s recipe. Your tarte turned out beautifully!

  7. Busy Oven says:

    Your tarte looks perfect! I like where you’re going with the wine pairing!

  8. Karen says:

    Your cake looks beautiful! I haven’t made this yet, but since I love pastry cream, I am really looking forward to it.

  9. Summer says:

    That’s a beautiful looking cake. Very nice. Now I’m going to have to look up Jacques Pepin’s recipe for pastry cream…

  10. It looks beautiful Nicole! I have the Pepin book and I am going to have to check out his pastry cream. I’ve been a bit under the weather and my brain is working slowly so when I read about sieving the cornflour it was like a lightbulb moment! That would have been a good thing to do when adding the cornflour, I was wondering what the little lumps were from lol! I really liked this recipe.

    • Nicole @ The 2nd 35 Years says:

      I hope you feel better soon! Pg 478 of Jacques Pepin’s New Complete Techniques has the traditional flour version, and this is my go to, but Essential Pepin uses corn starch.

  11. Diane Zwang says:

    I am learning lots of good tips on this cake for when I bake it. Yours came out beautifully. I will definitely have to schedule a day for it. I know my husband will love it since it has a cream filling.

  12. Your tarte looks just perfect. I had alot of problems with the filling. It was way too runny and I have had that problem before but never like this. I do not know what I do wrong.

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