It’s February already holy heck. So no more boring New Year’s resolutions about diets and not drinking and not eating delicious buttery tarts covered in cream and sugar… Right??
I hope so. Because this is totally worth the calories. I don’t usually care about desserts, I’d usually be happier munching on cheese to be honest. But then I tried a cream brioche tart from the amazing Cocoa Patisserie in Brighton and everything changed.
It’s French brioche dough, rolled into a circle, then filled with cream and sugar and baked until it looks a bit like a flatbread with a golden crust. The creamy center just seems to melt when you bite into it and the crust has this beautiful crunch of sugar on the outside of a beautifully light, fluffy dough. So yeah, buttery dough, plus cream and lots of sugar equals very tasty. Funny that. I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing this tart was (insert bad joke here). And I knew I had to recreate it at home…
First I started searching online for a similar recipe to use but I couldn’t seem to find anything. Apparently it’s from a particular region of France and isn’t seen much elsewhere, so in the end i actually searched in French (with a lot of help from some online translation sites) and eventually found a recipe that looked close enough to work with.
And then I had to make it a couple times until I’d got exactly what I was looking for. The first time I blatantly underestimated how much sugar is needed to turn a vaguely savoury brioche dough into a sweet dessert, but the second time it was spot on. And you know what? All that work – totally. worth. it. This is super duper yum and very easy to make as long as you’ve got a food processor and don’t mind sitting around on the couch for a few hours while the dough rises. Tough life.
Cream brioche tart
Adapted and translated from MenuGourmet, makes 4 mini tarts
- 150g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
- 250g strong white flour
- 40g sugar
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 150ml double cream (the original recipe uses yoghurt instead if you’re feeling calorie conscious, although by the time you’re eating brioche i don’t think it really matters!)
- A little milk to glaze the edges
- Powdered and granulated sugar to dust the tarts
- In a food processor with a dough hook, mix sugar, salt and eggs.
- Dissolve the yeast with a tablespoon of lukewarm water in a separate bowl or mug.
- Pour the flour into the bowl, add the yeast, and mix briefly. Run the machine continuously until a dough is formed. Add the softened butter. Mix again until incorporated. Remove from the bowl to a floured surface, knead briefly until it becomes a solid mass. The dough will be very soft – don’t be alarmed, just pull it together as best you can and place in bowl.
- Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Leave to rest for one hour. Knock the air out of the dough by kneading briefly again, then cover and leave to rest for one hour again, this time in the fridge to make it easier to work with. When the final hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F degrees.
- Split the dough into four. On a well-floured surface (or directly on your baking paper), spread each piece of dough into a circle, leaving a slightly raised crust around the edge. Place on a baking sheet with a sheet of baking paper.
- Make some indentations in the dough with your finger, then gently pour on the cream. It doesn’t need too much, or it will just overflow onto the baking sheet so pour slowly. Leave to rest for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Brush the crusts with a little bit of milk. Then dust the rounds of dough (including the crust) until you have a solid layer of powdered sugar on top, then sprinkle on a handful of granulated sugar for texture. Place a small knob of butter in the middle of each round of dough.
- Bake about 15 minutes until the crust is just starting to brown. Devour while warm or keep for up to a day in an airtight container. Not that it will last that long!
If you live in Brighton, you could also just head to Cocoa and buy a few slices! They do a version with blackcurrant but I thought it was a bit overpowering. I might try adding some other seasonal fruit like raspberries but then again the original is so simple and perfect I might just make it again and again and again…
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