Sunday 24 September 2017

#readcookeat recipe : Tarte Bressane (Piglettes)

The tagline on the front cover of Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais (click through to read my review) already suggested that it would be a good candidate for the #readcookeat challenge : "The summer three girls found love, friendship and sausages" ! It is a heartwarming tale about three young girls, cruelly crowned as winners of the Ugliest Girl at School competition, who decide to club together and cycle all the way to Paris, in order to deal with some of the demons in their personal lives. Sausages besides, there are some lovely mentions of food, which the main character Mireille waxes lyrical about :

p31 I like Bourg-en-Bresse, my lovely town, my beautiful canteen. It's a town that feeds its people well. There are bakeries with sugar tarts as wide as bike wheels, lumpy with pink pralines. There's Le Français, the brasserie so gilded and full of mirrors that your eyes water as you eat your filet Pierre - a pillow of raw beef so soft you can cut into it with your fork like a huge strawberry. There's my grandparents' restaurant, the George & Georgette, two Michelin stars, opposite the recently whitened church of Brou. There they serve whole frogs gurgling in puddles of parsley butter, heavy cast-iron pots containing shrivelled, smoky snails, enormous clumpy quenelles whistling with steam, baked pâtés in glassy jelly ...
And cheese boards ! Mould-dappled Bresse Bleu, cinder-dashed Morbier, extra-old Mimolette, red as brick, and lumpy fromage frais, sprinkled with chives, lavishly wrapped in thick cream...
And hemispheres of wine in the glasses - and then, when it's time for coffee, box after box of chocolates and glazed chestnuts ...
And brioche and pies, fougasses and baguettes; breads of all shapes and sizes, stuffed with green olives, peppers, figs, onions, nuts or dry sausage; breads that are hot and spongy, stick to your teeth, drink the butter and the yellow wax of the foie gras ...
So, yes - it's obviously to be expected that I might be a little bit chubbier than the red-haired model in the window of Sandy Hair Salon; not a surprise that I tend to pass on the "ZeroCal Sandwich" option at the canteen - two Krisprolls and a slice of 100 per cent organic chicken, 2 per cent fat, 1.2 per cent carbs. And not a surprise, Malo, that you should be so skinny and so nasty, spending the day, as you do, chewing greyish gum, in this town made entirely of sugar and cheese ...

Well, I didn't fancy frogs or snails, raw beef or mouldy cheese, but the mention of Tarte au Sucre or Sugar Tart intrigued me so I went to investigate. It turns out that there are various types, with sugar and butter, chocolate chips, cream, or the pink pralines that Mireille mentioned. Dashing around Lidl the other day grabbing some last minute essentials, I did a double take when I saw some bags of the very same lumpy pink pralines that were mentioned in the book. I've never seen them before (although maybe I just never noticed them, before reading about them) but it was like a sign so I had to give the recipe a go !

I used the recipe on the French Miamamia blog, so I'll translate the recipe here, but do head over to see the original for the photos of the different variants.

Tarte Bressane (Pink Praline Tart)

ingredients :

250g plain flour
13g dried yeast (or you could use fresh)
50ml warm milk
2 eggs
90g softened butter
30g sugar
1/2tsp salt
150g marscapone or thick crème fraîche
120g pink pralines

Put the yeast in the lukewarm milk and stir to dissolve.

Put the flour, sugar, salt and eggs in a separate bowl. Pour in the yeast and milk mixture and mix then knead to make a dough.

Ours was very sticky and although I added extra flour, it didn't get any better !

Form into a ball, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for an hour or so.

Spread out the dough to fill a large pie tin, lined with baking parchment. (Yep, still very sticky ! The original recipe says to raise the edges to make a pie crust so it really shouldn't be this sticky - not sure what happened !) Leave to rise for a further 15 minutes.

Put the pralines in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin - you still want chunks, not pink almond dust !

 Spread marscapone over the top of the dough then scatter over the pralines.

Bake at 200° for 15 minutes - the cream won't change colour so it doesn't look cooked but stab it with a sharp knife and it should be done.

It's halfway between a cake and a bread - basically a very soft, spongy brioche with a pronounced yeasty taste and a sweet and creamy topping. It can be eaten warm or cold.

Joining in with the #readcookeat challenge over at Chez Maximka.


  1. Love the colours!

  2. What an unusual recipe! I've never come across tarte bressane. It looks tasty, and I'd be very curious to try it, though I haven't seen pink praline anywhere. I have eaten snails many years ago, visiting friends in France, and they were actually pretty good. Frogs, no, haven't tried, and won't be in a rush to try. :)

    1. I did eat snails once, to save face, but I just swallowed without chewing !! lol


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