Galette des Rois
Epiphany is celebrated in many countries, in all sort of ways, on January 6th of each year.
Why January 6th? Here’s a snippet from Wikipedia: The three kings cake takes its name from the Biblical Magi who are also referred to as the three kings. In Western Christian tradition, Epiphany (also known as “Three Kings Day”) celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Eve of Epiphany is known as Twelfth Night, which is the last day of the Christmas season, and Epiphany Day itself commences the Epiphany season. The three kings cake originated in the Middle Ages in Europe from whence French settlers brought it to colonial America. It often includes a statue of the Christ Child and it is believed that the individual who discovers it will have good fortune. The three kings cake is consumed throughout Epiphanytide until the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.[5
In France, we celebrate this day by eating a Galette des Rois, also known as King’s Cake. It is a puff pastry dessert filled with Frangipane, made with almond meal, sugar and butter.
We hid a “feve” usually made of porcelain, inside the cake before baking it. Whoever find the trinket, is crown King or Queen for the year! When there are a few kids at the table, we usually hide 2 trinkets to make it more fun, and the winners get to pick a king or queen to be crowned with them. When you buy a Galette in France, they provide a paper crown for the winner. You can make one your self at home, it’s a lot of fun for kids!
To make sure there is no cheating, the youngest person present has to hide under the table while the cake is cut and we ask “who’s this slice for”? The one under the table decides of who is getting the slice without peeking at whether there is a trinket in the slice!
Our tradition was to keep all the Christmas decorations up until January 6th and we remove everything that day and finish off with eating a Galette. That’s why at my house, all the decors are still up!
I hope you enjoy making this dessert as much as I do, and maybe you’ll start this tradition too!
Happy new year!
Galette des Rois
Galette des Rois: Or King's cake. A traditional French dessert traditionally served on Epiphany.
2 rolls of frozen puff pastry or 400 gr, thawed
- 100 gr softened unsalted butter
- 100 gr white sugar
- 125 gr ground almond
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 2 Tbsp dark rum
- 1 tsp almond extract optional
- 1 large dried bean or trinket see notes
- Pre-heat oven at 400 F. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
Make the filling: with a electric mixer and a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add 2 eggs and combine. Then add the ground almond and rum. If the filling is too runny to spread on your pastry, refrigerate until it becomes thicker.
If your puff pastry is one block of 400gr, divide it in half, roll out each piece to 10” squares. Using a large plate of cake pan as a guide, cut each piece into a 10" round. Put one round on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Spread the filling on the pastry round that is already on a baking tray, leaving about 3/4 inch of uncovered dough around the edge. Place your dried bean or trinket anywhere on the filling (avoid the center though)
Place the 2nd round of pastry on top of the filling. Close the edges by sealing the 2 pastry disks together, and rolling the edges back while pressing gently.
Make an egg wash with the last egg: blend the yolk with 1 Tbsp of milk. Brush the wash all over the top of the pastry. Run a knife over the top in a crisscross fashion, making sure not to pierce through the dough. See video link for other ways to decorate your dough. Poke just 1 or 2 holes on the top pastry to let steam escape.
Cook for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is flaky and dark golden. If it's getting too dark too fast, place an aluminum paper on top of the pastry.
- Let it cool down. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Traditionally, we hide a trinket in the dessert. It is usually made of porcelain. Easy to find in France, but not so much in North America! You can replace it with a large dried bean, or a coin wrapped in aluminum paper. Make sure it can’t be swallowed!
The person who find the trinket in their slice is crowned king or queen of the year! We usually have a paper crown that the king gets to wear!
The video links are in French, but the visual is enough to give you an idea I hope!