Brioche with vanilla cream

A sweet treat with no name from Comptoir Gourmand

“It doesn’t really have a name,” muses Karim at Comptoir Gourmand, a man for whom labels are clearly immaterial. The unnamed pastry looks coolly back at us, its brioche cheeks puffed and golden, flecks of vanilla in its icing curls. “It’s just brioche and vanilla cream,” he explains—and then, somewhat needlessly, given its looks, “it is a very popular pastry.” We need no persuading. This nameless treat’s buttery brioche was baked fresh this morning by French pastry chefs who seem to have been born wielding rolling pins, before being piped full of fresh, sweet yellow cream.

“It is common in patisseries in France—but no, I really don’t think it has a name,” he reiterates. It simply doesn’t need one, seems to be the implication; the taste is everything. When we ask Karim if he likes it, he pats his tummy meaningfully and chuckles. “Well of course!” It’s brioche. It’s vanilla cream. It’s everything you want from a treat and everything you want from a Friday. Put a brew on (or, if you’re a stickler for authenticity, a coffee) and maybe share a piece with whoever you hold dear. And just hope they don’t ask you what it is.