For this splendid dessert, thank Brigitte Bardot. Legend says she fell in love with this dessert, created in 1955 by Patissier Micka, when she filmed ‘Et Dieu créa la femme.’ An alternative legend says the pastry was inspired by a hat Brigitte wore. This was at the time when Brigitte was the biggest sex symbol in the world, so it is hard to imagine that she wore a hat like a big beige pouffy pillow squatting on her head. So I choose to believe that is exactly what she did. Usually a Trop’ is filled with pastry cream, but I’ve made a lighter filling of whipped cream mixed with fig jam. Don’t put it on your head!
• 260 g (2 cups all-purpose flour)
• 1 package dry yeast
• 2 tablespoons + 80 ml (1/3 cup tepid milk)
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 egg
• 60 g (4 tablespoons softened butter)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon orange flower water
• for baking:
• 2 tablespoons softened butter, divided
• 4 tablespoons pearl sugar (big round crystals)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour. Make a well in the center and add the yeast with 2 tablespoons of the milk, plus the sugar. When the yeast dissolves and begins to bubble, add the rest of the milk, the egg, butter, salt and orange flower water. Beat with the dough hook at low speed until blended, then beat at medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be very soft. If it seems too sticky, beat in a little more flour 1 spoonful at a time, but it will be much softer than a bread dough and closer to a stiff batter.
Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled in volume, 45 minutes.
Spread a tablespoon of softened butter in a 25 cm/10 inch cake pan and pat the dough evenly in the pan. Spread with the remaining butter and scatter the pearl sugar over the top. Let rise another 30 minutes.
Bake at 175C/350F until pale gold and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool completely.
• 3 sheets gelatin or 1 tablespoon
• 150 g (1/2 cup) fig jam
• 1 tablespoon rum
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Soak the gelatin sheets in water, or the powder in 1 tablespoon water. When softened, melt and stir into the fig jam and rum. Beat the cream until stiff, then stir in the jam.
Split the cooled cake, spread over the jam and replace the top. Chill before serving.