« The Tropézienne » by chef « Cyril Lignac »


Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6 people

I have decided to share with you a recipe that comes from the south of France, one of the great classics of French pastry.  This is “La tropézienne” by chef “Cyril Lignac”.

According to the chef, a tropézienne is a soft brioche, a smooth cream and a subtle taste of orange blossom.

This “tropézienne” is really very very GOOD with its ultra light and very vanilla diplomat cream.  The chef does not use soaking syrup but specifies that it can be done, so that’s what I did and I have not regretted it, and of course for my part the syrup will be flavored with  Orange Blossom.  Add to that these pearl sugar which crack slightly under the tooth.  Pleasure guaranteed.

Although I must admit, seeing the amount of butter used, I hesitated a bit.  But tasting it, I must say that this tropézienne is the bomb.

However, the dough must rest for 12 hours in the refrigerator so it is done the day before but especially not the cooking which is done the same day of tasting.

This tropézienne recipe is taken from his fabulous book “La pâtisserie” co-written with a great chef “Benoît Couvrand”, I can assure you that it will certainly not be the last recipe from this book..

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The Tropézienne by chef Cyril Lignac

  • Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Serves: 6 people

In 1952, the Polish pastry chef “Alexandre Micka” arrived in Provence. He opened a bakery and pastry shop in Saint Tropez where he sold a cream brioche topped with sugar pearl, a recipe inspired by his grandmother.
During the shooting of the film "Et dieu… .créa la femme"(and god …..created the woman), the pastry shop then received the film crew, he took the opportunity and introduced them to the brioche, the recipe of which remains secret and jealously guarded to this day.
According to history, it would be the actress Brigitte Bardot who had suggested to Alexandre Micka to name his brioche "the tart of Saint Tropez" and this is where "the tropézienne" was born.

To make this Tropézienne by chef Cyril Lignac you’ll need:
A stainless steel circle 20cm in diameter.
Rolling pin
Pastry bag with a 2cm round nozzle.

Read « Tips & Tricks » before making the recipe.

Ingredients :

Brioche dough: to make a day before

  • 280 g flour , soft wheat flour type « 0 »
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 6 g fine salt
  • 12 g fresh yeast
  • 186 g eggs , ( 3 medium size)
  • 225 g unsalted butter , softened and cut in pieces
  • , 1 egg + 1 egg yolk+1 Tbsp of water to brush the brioche

Diplomat cream

  • 440 g milk
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 40 g cornstarch
  • 2 gelatin leaves, (or 4g gelatin powder)
  • 30 g unsalted butter , cold, cut in pieces
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 80 g egg yolks , ( 4 large size)
  • 150 g heavy cream

Orange blossom syrup :

  • 100 g water
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water

Assembly :

  • 3 Tbsp pearl sugar
  • icing sugar


Brioche dough: To make the day before

  • 1)

    In a mixer bowl fitted with the hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast to stir everything together on the low speed.  Make a hole in the center, pour in the beaten eggs, knead until you obtain a homogeneous dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.




    Gradually add the softened butter cut into pieces ( If you press the butter with your finger, you would easily be able to leave a mark, with no resistance. But the butter has NOT melted. This is the consistency you want with your butter).
    Knead until the butter is completely incorporated, the dough will be very slack and sticky after the butter is added.  You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times during the process. Continue kneading, until the dough becomes elastic, smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.




    Place the dough in a large bowl lightly floured, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise at room temperature for an hour or more, the dough should double in size.




    After rest time at room temperature, put the dough on parchment paper, roll out the dough using a rolling pin 1.5 cm thick, then cut out a circle 20 cm in diameter (the cercle needs to be buttered and lightly floured), film the dough in contact with a cling film and leave overnight in the refrigerator.









    The next day let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature, before brushing it with the mixture of egg and water, and sprinkling with sugar pearl.





    Bake for 25 minutes in an oven preheated to 165C, the brioche must be cooked and golden on top.

Diplomat cream:

  • 1)

    Diplomat cream is a pastry cream lightened with whipped cream
    First, make a pastry cream:
    Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
    In a saucepan, heat the milk is just coming to a simmer, incorporate the split and scraped vanilla pods and let infuse for 20 minutes.
    Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the sugar, the egg yolks and cornstarch. Remove the vanilla pods from the infused milk, then add it while still hot to the previous mixture in three times, mixing between each addition to prevent the yolks from curdling.
    Return everything to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming and the cream from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
    Remove from the heat and incorporate the squeezed and softened gelatin, then the cold butter cut into pieces (the cream should be lukewarm not hot when adding the cold butter), use a hand blender to homogenize the cream. Pour the hot pastry cream in a large container and cover with a cling film, you want it to be actually touching the surface of the cream to prevent it forming a skin, then set aside in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.




    In a bowl on medium speed, whip the cold heavy cream to medium peaks (if possible, the bowl should be cold as well). 

    Take the pastry cream out of the fridge and whisk it to make it creamy and very smooth without lumps, then gently add the whipped cream using a spatula (1/3 with a whisk and 2/3 gently with a spatula).





    Put the diplomat cream in a icing bag fitted with a “round 2cm” nozzle, reserve in the refrigerator.

Orange blossom syrup :

  • 1)

    In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, the sugar should be dissolved.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before adding the orange blossom.


  • 1)

    Take out the brioche from the oven, let it cool before cutting brioche in half horizontally into two equal parts.  Then soak both parts with the orange blossom syrup using a brush.  Pipe balls of diplomat cream, place the top of the brioche and sprinkle with icing sugar.

    Enjoy !

Tips and Tricks:

To make your brioche :
1- First the quality of your products will make a difference.  A brioche is usually made with flour, butter, eggs and yeast.

For the flour: to make a brioche choose a baking flour (strong flour) riche in gluten and more elastic than ordinary flour, I used soft wheat flour type « 0 » which are the most used in the preparation of brioches.
It might sound weird to you, but keeping your flour in the fridge can help keep it longer without any problems.  Because if your flour is not fresh, it will not come out of the sides of the bowl.

For the butter: I can say that this’s the most important ingredient in the preparation of the brioche, it’s what will determine the taste and the softness of this one.  Therefore, I recommend an 80% fat butter (for my part, I use the elle & vire gourmet brand).

For the eggs: use organic eggs and above all weigh them without the shell.  Usually a medium sized egg weighs 50g, but they differ in size, which is why it’s very important to weigh them to get the right texture of the brioche.

For the yeast: as everyone already knows we use ideally fresh yeast (crumbled or diluted), but you can very well use dried yeast.  Now you have to differentiate between instant and active yeast.
The first is used like the fresh one, it doesn’t need liquid to dissolve, you will just add it to the rest of the ingredients without adding any liquid to it before using it.
The active needs to be diluted in a liquid, milk or lukewarm water without exceeding 38C and leave for 10 minutes before use.
Never put the yeast in contact with the salt otherwise the dough will not rise.

 2- Kneading:
All the ingredients should be cold, (except for the butter which should be softened). Place all the ingredients and your bowl in the refrigerator overnight before you start making the brioche.
During kneading it’s imperative that the brioche does not exceed 24C – 26C. Place ice cubes (in plastic bag) around the bowl to keep the temperature of the dough between 15C – 20C.
The kneading speed should be between low and medium.
Remember that the brioche dough hates high speed kneading and heat which should not exceed 26C.

3- The rest time is very important, the brioche grows in three stages. After kneading for an hour or more at room temperature , the dough should double in volume. Place  dough overnight in the fridge to develop its aromas (and facilitate the work of the dough).  A final let the dough to rise at room temperature after shaping and before baking it.

4- Baking: the time and temperature depend on your oven and the size of your brioche.



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