Looking for a tasty treat? This decadent cream cake from the Gulf of St Tropez is just the thing!
What you’ll need
For the custard filling:
- 375ml full cream milk
- 1 vanilla pod, seeded, or 15ml vanilla essence
- 4 large egg yolks
- 75ml sugar
- 60ml cornflour
- 15ml orange blossom water (optional)
- 85g unsalted butter, cubed and soft
- 190ml heavy whipping cream
For the brioche:
- 45ml sugar
- 15ml instant yeast
- 80ml warm milk
- 500ml flour, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Crushed sugar cubes for finishing
The custard filling:
- Put the milk and the vanilla seeds (if using) into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and the orange blossom water (and the vanilla essence if not using the vanilla seeds). Ladle some of the hot milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking (this is known as tempering, or raising the temperature of the eggs).
- Once the eggs have been tempered, pour them into the remainder of the milk mixture on the stove and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Let the custard rest for 10 minutes, add the softened butter a little at a time and blend well. Put plastic wrap on the surface of the custard filling and chill for 2 hours.
- Place the yeast and 15ml of the sugar in a bowl and pour over the warm milk. Set aside until it becomes foamy.
- Mix the flour, salt and the rest of the sugar in a bowl, or in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, with a dough hook attachment at low speed. Scrape the yeast mixture into the bowl, and then add the vanilla and the eggs in a slow stream. Turn up the mixer speed slightly and beat for 5-8 minutes until the dough forms a ball and is smooth. Turn up the speed to medium, add the butter a little at a time and beat for another 7-9 minutes.
- Place the dough into a large bowl, lifting it and slapping it down until it becomes a slightly flattened and smooth ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for 2-3 hours until it has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge and let it chill for a minimum of 2 hours, up to a maximum of 48 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, place on a floured work surface and pat it down into a disc about 25cm in diameter. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Beat an egg with a splash of water and brush the top of the dough well.
- Liberally sprinkle the crushed sugar cubes over the top. Place in the oven and turn the heat down to 175°C. Bake for 20–25 minutes, rotating the tray occasionally to ensure even baking occurs. When the surface of the brioche is golden and glossy, remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.
- When the brioche is ready to be filled, slice it in half horizontally. Whip the cream and then fold it into the custard filling. Fill a piping bag, if you have one, with the custard filling, and pipe the filling onto the bottom half, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Alternatively, spread all the filling over the brioche cake using a spatula. Place the top half of the cake on top of the custard filling and leave in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
- Serve cold, cut into wedges.
Extracted from Brunch Across 11 Countries by Alix Verrips (Human & Rousseau; R390)