Since we are apparently on a (successful, hmph) mission to plump up this winter, I bring you: Galette des Rois! My belly is grumbling just as I’m writing this.
This galette begins popping up in boulangeries around France in January, though this year I saw them the day after Christmas(!) which many think is a bit excessive. Hold your horses, guys – we’ll still have all of January to stuff ourselves silly with it.
This type of cake is made for the Epiphany on January 6th, commemorating the visit of the three kings to the baby Jesus. It appears in different forms in different cultures. The Mexican version is called Rosca de Reyes and is ring shaped. The one that we have here is the French one filled with frangipane. The ring version is apparently also available in southern France, but Mr Bear grew up there and I’m pretty sure this frangipane stuffed one is what he is used to. One thing most have in common is that they contain what’s called a feve in France – a small figurine representing baby Jesus inside. Apparently, the person who gets the feve in their slice is crowned king (or queen) for the night and is responsible for bringing the cake next year.
Although I feel a sudden urge to bike over to the boulangerie for a very important and non-galette related reason, I have a recipe for you! Be careful how much you make, last year I made a huge one and Mr B and I didn’t want to see another galette ever again (luckily a year has passed and we’ve gotten over that). Recipe follows.
Galette des Rois
- ~1 1/4 cup (140g) ground almonds
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 1/2 ounces (100g) melted unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 chilled, prepared puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg yolk & 1 tsp of milk
- Preheat oven to 190C or 375F
- Mix almond, sugar, egg, butter, and almond extract all together.
- Cut both puff pastry sheets into two circles using a pie, tart tin, or plate as a guide.
- Spread mix onto one pastry sheet, leaving the edges empty. Dab edge with a bit of water and cover with other pastry sheet. Seal the edges together.
- Beat egg yolk with milk and brush mixture on top of the pastry.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until your galette is golden brown.
(if you’d like to include a feve, you could use an almond instead, that way nobody will choke on a plastic figurine)
Seriously, who doesn’t love puff pastry and frangipane? And it’s a piece of cake (or a piece of galette, right?!) to make. I once went into a VERY popular bakery in downtown LA and was completely underwhelmed by one of their frangipane tarts. In fact, I was underwhelmed by most of their pâtisserie, but of course I realize I am spoiled living over in France. But this, this little galette of heaven can be made anywhere. So skip the trip to the bakery and go ahead and spoil yourself.