Every year starting on January 6th, la galette des rois (the cake of the three kings), made of frangipane (almond cream paste) and a buttery crust, is sold in patisseries all over France. These delicious cakes celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, where the three wise men came to see the baby Jesus. In certain parts of France the cake is made with brioche and filled with glazed fruit. A feve, a little china figure, is hidden inside of the cake, and whoever gets it, (without breaking a cap when biting into it) is crowned King or Queen. The cake is usually sold with a gold paper crown.
In keeping with tradition, every January I buy a la galette des rois and share it with friends but this year I did it earlier on January 4. I was invited to friends fro drinks and brought them the cake. Up until last year, I found the fever four years in a row and was crowned the King.
Last year by a fluke, a friend of mine got it instead which really annoyed me even though I was happy for her. It turns out I didn’t have the best year in 2016 and vowed I would reclaim my crown again in 2017. My friend cut the cake in four pieces and I eyed it for a long time before I chose my piece. Low and behold it had the feve in it. YAY, I am now King for the year again and hope it’s a better one than last year.
Here's an easy recipe to make La Galette des Rois at home. If you make it, you have to send me a piece.
La Galette des Rois
1 1/4 lb frozen puff pastry
7 oz almond paste
Preparation: Leave the puff pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours until defrosted but still cold.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with baking parchment or grease the pan and lightly sift flour on it. Shake off any excess flour. Roll each sheet of pastry into a circle about 12 inches across. Place one circle on the prepared pan.
Mix the egg with the almond paste until smooth and spread the mixture evenly on the prepared circle of pastry, leaving a border 1 1/2 inches wide all around. If you have a small piece of china, insert it into the almond mixture (you may also use a bean as the fève.)
Place the second circle of pastry on top and press it down tightly around the rim.
Beat lightly the remaining egg and brush it on the top of the cake. With a long-bladed knife, press lightly but firmly through the egg glaze marking a crisscross pattern.
Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and puffed. Do not check for doneness for at least 15 minutes, as the pastry may collapse. Serve slightly warm or cold.
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Eye Prefer Paris Photos
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Below are some sample images.
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