Wednesday, 10 June 2009

la tropézienne

Last Sunday was Mother's Day in France and we went to a big family lunch in Aix-en-Provence. We contributed to lunch by bringing a pudding - a gateau to be exact.
A very flash cake called une tropézienne from St Tropez - a very impressive brioche sandwiched with whipped cream and in this instance, raspberries & strawberries.
Apparently it was named by Brigitte Bardot when she was in St Tropez filming 'And God Created Woman' in 1955. Authentic tropéziennes are filled with custard but I've seen more of the cream sort.

We ordered it from a superb patisserie, Gérard on the Cours Mirabeau
. It's an old fashioned place where you choose your fancy, get a ticket and then pay at the counter manned by the owner, an elegant older lady. Rather naively I said it was for a lunch with 12 guests and so when we came to collect it, I was faced with 2 enormous boxes ie. 2 enormous gateaux! I was quite overwhelmed and didn't think to ask if we could take only one of them. So I paid the not unsubstantial amount and tottered out of the shop much to the amusement of the other customers.
We've been heroically eating one (possibly two pieces) each day. It's day 4 and the cream is still fresh but the brioch is slightly soggy, so I think we'll call it a day.

The first photo has been taken from Autour de Comptoir
(a blog devoted to photographing Comptoir des Cotonniers shops all over the world) as I forgot, in all the excitement, to take a shot of the shop facade.


  1. beautiful! i love the picture with a slice taken out of it.

  2. What a lovely life! La vie est belle! Pardon my French!

  3. P.S. I should visit Autour de Comptoir....During my past visit to Paris (last month), I happened to take a photo of a Comptoir des Cotonniers on rue St. Dominique in Paris!! And there's a whole blog about it???!!!

  4. oh what a beautiful cake!!!! yummmm! and this shop looks gorgeous.

  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh !!!

    Mary, you were in my hometown. And I was in Aix on Sunday too... ;-(

    Béchard is a myth in Aix. The lady owner is just a perfection as far as style is concerned. And I love when in winter she serves very early in the morning with her fur coat on her shoulders... With so much diamonds on her fingers...

    La Tropézienne is a kick ass dessert but if you go back there, try le pain au chocolat ! The best ever...

  6. that looked amazingly delicious!!

  7. what a delight to read your amusing little story. and that cake! so perfectly summery. c'mon, just one more piece!

  8. anna - cake always look better when you can see what you're getting inside!

    jen - yes, but i'll be paying for them for a month of Sundays!
    Autour de Comptoir has nice classic clothes. The kind of clothes I'm getting used to living in France.

    hiki - the shop is amazing (see Marion's comment!)

    marion - what a coincidence! La madame is great ;) i love her and she's a wily business woman as well! ie. she managed to get an order of huge cakes out of me when one would have sufficed!
    I'll definitely be trying the pain au chocolat next time. Thanks for the tip!

    make it easy - thanks - it was :)

    tina - you got me - i did have more but we still only managed to eat half of it! i should have had a tea party - i hate to see cake go to waste!

  9. Hi,
    I love your blog a lot, so I gave you an award at my blog here. Please pay it forward. It's a great way to discover new blogs and show love to our old friends...

  10. Hi Mary I stumbled upon ur blog after searching for a photo of La Tropèzienne. This is the very exact dessert I had in my trip to Aix 2 weeks ago. We bought one in Bechard, and I fell in love. Never have I tasted a gateau so simple yet so wonderful! And yes, when I bought the dessert, the same stylish elderly lady served us at the cashier. She's fantastique!