Mariëtte Coetzee of Coco Bella (cocobella.co.za), a Cape patisserie, tends to over cater when she entertains. But it’s just as well because with such delicious fare on offer who could resist a second helping?



For the brioche:

  • 55g fresh yeast
  • 90ml cold milk
  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 20g salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 510g bread flour
  • 455g cake flour
  • 285g butter, at room temperature

For the pissaladiere topping:

  • 30ml olive oil
  • 170g onions, thinly sliced
  • 1ml sea salt
  • 2ml white wine vinegar
  • 30ml water
  • 1ml ground black pepper
  • 40g olives, pitted
  • 6–8 anchovy fillets
  • 30g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 15ml thyme
  • egg wash, made with 1 egg yolk and 30ml milk


To make the brioche: 
1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the sugar, salt, and eggs.
2. Reserve about 85g of the bread flour then add the remainder with the cake flour to the egg mixture. Gradually mix in the butter, adding it in small pieces until incorporated.
3. Knead the dough until it forms a ball. The dough should have a slightly shiny appearance and not stick to the sides of the bowl. Add the reserved bread flour if necessary.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 5–6 hours. When it has doubled in size, punch it down. Then, on a lightly-floured work surface, roll it into an even, round shape – just large enough to fit inside a 23cm tart pan with a removable bottom.
5. Transfer the dough round to the greased pan, making sure it fits all the way up the sides and allow to prove for 30–45 minutes.

To make the pissaladiere topping and assemble the tart:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. While the brioche dough is proving, heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add the onions and salt and sauté until the onions are brown.
3. Add the vinegar and water, stir well and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan; add the pepper and stir well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool at room temperature.
4. Chop the olives coarsely. Place the onion mix evenly on top of the dough; arrange the anchovy fillets over the onions and top with the olives and the tomatoes cut side up.
5. Carefully brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash, place in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Cook’s note: The brioche can be made in advance and although it takes a bit of time to prepare, it’s worth the effort.

This recipe serves 6 – 8.