The French Riviera Tarte Tropezienne
Brigitte Bardot, the iconic French actress who put Saint-Tropez on the map, proposed the name “tarte de Saint-Tropez” for the dessert she tasted on the set of Roger Vadim’s film Et Dieu… Créa la femme. The dessert was created in 1955 when Alexandre Micka, a Polish pâtissier, moved to the South of France and opened a boulangerie-pâtisserie in a then little-known city, west of Nice, in the French Riviera. The Tarte Tropézienne, or tropézienne, is a cake made of two, ideally fluffy, layers of brioche separated by a layer of cream. Big crunchy sugar bits are also sprinkled on it, giving it a characteristic look. If you are not a fan of orange flower water, I would stay away from this dessert, as this flavor plays a significant role in giving the brioche a strong, distinctive taste. The exact ingredients are not precisely known because the “real” tropézienne recipe is guarded by a handful of chosen pâtissiers. These pâtissiers have expanded the brand by creating a tropézienne with noisette (hazelnut) filling and macarons that look like tiny tropéziennes.