By Christian Gillet

Pastry-baker trainer – French Baker Champion
BakeLabRC consulting


This recipe is for a topping after baking the brioche.
See scientific supplement by Rachel Blanchon for a topping before cooking.

Craquelin” (cracker)

  • 100 g crystal Sugar              
  • 100 g butter                          
  • 100 g T55 ou T45 flour

Mix sugar and butter, then flour.
Color with natural coloring (red).
Roll out between two plastic sheets and put in the cold.

Coulis gélifié

  • 250 g fruit “purée”                   
  • 70 g sugar                             
  • 4 g gelatin                             
  • Lemon zest

Bring the purée and sugar to the boil.
Remove from heat and add softened gelatin.
Mold and chill.

Scientific complement:

Gelatin is a thermoreversible gelling agent of animal origin. In other words, after gelling, the preparation becomes liquid again if heated.This gelling agent cannot be used to fill a pastry before baking, knowing that inside the pastry will reach about 90° C (194° F) during cooking.

If you want to fill the pastry before baking, use a thermoreversible gelling agent that remains stable at high temperatures. Agar-agar, a plant-based gelling agent derived from seaweed, not only meets this criterion, but also the customers wishing to avoid animal products. Agar-agar has a gelling power 8 times higher than that of gelatin: 1 g of agar-agar = 8 g of gelatin.

Use of Agar-agar in the recipe: beware of acidic fruits, which reduce its gelling action. Agar-agar should be chilled from the start and boiled.


Weigh and prepare raw materials. Prepare bowl and hook.


Frasage/kneading with T55 or T45 flour, 50% egg, yeast, salt and sugar (food processor with hook speed 1 – 15 min). The consistency should be firm. Dough gains strength.
Basin remaining eggs. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl.
Add butter. Dough should be smooth. Total dough weight: 1,805 kg.


60 to 120 min at room temperature. It should ± double in volume.

Fold or break or twist

Store at +4° C (39° F) from 6 to 48 h.

Making Valentine’s day French brioche

  1. Roll out the cracker (craquelin) thinly between two sheets of plastic wrap, and chill.
  2. Using a heart-shaped circle, cut out the cracker and leave it at the bottom of the circle on a sheet of parchment paper. The circle is previously buttered. You can decorate inside the circle with seeds (poppy or sesame).
  3. Place 40 g brioche per circle on the cracker (craquelin) and bake for 1 h at 28° C (83° F).
    For 6-serving cakes, you’ll need 250-300 g brioche dough per cake. You’ll get 6 to 7 cakes.
  4. Place a sheet of parchment paper and a baking tray on top to seal the molds.
  5. Bake for 17 min at 170° C (338° F).
  6. Remove from the oven, unmold, and allow to cool.
  7. Garnish with jelly purée using a pastry bag and piping bag, then decorate the tops of the cakes as you wish.


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(Photo credit: C Gillet/BakeLabRC consulting)