La briocheis a French bread eaten at breakfast, believed to have evolved from a Normand recipe since the Middle Ages.
It's prepared in a brioche mould, one with fluted sides, with a narrower base and a broader lip, that in short looks like a ruffled dress...
(La Brioche de Chardin, 1783, Louvre)
Despite its French origin, the brioche is considered a viennoiserie. It is made in the same basic way as bread, but has the richer aspect of a pastry because of the extra addition of eggs, butter, milk, and occasionally a bit of sugar.
Tourte des Pyrénées (leçon)
From the Midi-Pyrénées Region in Central France, this gâteau is called a pie, sweet, usually added with pastis (anisse alcohol like Pernod, Ricard, or Absinthe), baked in the brioche mould with yeast and in its making underwent ‘explosion” in the oven before it puffs out nicely, bursts a little, brioché... so to speak. It is thus by its 'composure' something between a cake and a bread, and called a pie !
The tricks for this cake brioché are firstly, the mixing of eggs, in little portions progressively with the butter (the rule is less egg than butter at a time, if the other way round your batter will be a trouble mixing on and cake disastrous), as the recipe has more eggs composition than the butter; and secondly, the finishing touch of spreading the batter with a spatula to the sides leaving a depression in the centre to let it rise and 'bomb' nicely into good shape !
So I headed immediately to look for the brioche moulds (Moule à brioche), to be able to try baking them at home. The small ones (10 x 3cm) I found but the medium-sized one I was able to get is somewhat weird, it's not 'ruffled' enough...
The Faerie Queene :
Lo, knight, I shoulde let thee eate croissant, not brioche !
( Aside : Lest me be guillotined, horror in the cartes it read the clairvoyante!)