Monday, January 21, 2008

It’s time to share my recipe for French King Cake !

La galette des Rois” , the cake of the Kings, is a cake celebrating the Epiphany. The Epiphany is a Christian feast which celebrate the visitation of the three Magi (Balthazar, Melchior et Gaspard) to the child Jesus.
In France, we celebrate it, the second Sunday after Christmas. On Epiphany, and all the other days of January, we eat « la galette des rois ». It is a kind of « king cake » made of puff pastry and filled with frangipane ( a mix of almond, butter and sugar).

The tradition is to put inside a trinket (fève) which is usually a porcelain figurine. There are very varied kind of « fèves » and most of French people like to collect it. After cuting the cake in as much part as they have guest, it is usual for the youngest person to go under the table and name the person who will have each piece. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes "king" for a day and should wear a paper crown.

La fève

The tradition of the cake is coming from the XIVe century. In the south of France, the galette is a brioche who looks like a crown and is filled with sugar and fruits. The tradition of the « fève » come from the ancient roma, where in january, during the saturnals, a fève was put inside a cake for elected the king of the saturnals dinner.
We usually drink champagne with this cake. You can bake « la galette des roi » or find it in all the French bakeries in January. The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake.

La Galette des rois :

You need 2 circle of puff pastry sheets

The almond cream
3 eggs
almond powder
2 table spoon of your prefered alcool (bacardi, rhum…)
To decorate :
1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk
1 fève

Work the butter with a fork until it’s creamy. Add the almond powder and the sugar. Melt until it’s creamy. Add the eggs, lighlty mix and add the alcohol. Whip it. Put the cream in the fridge for na half an hour.

Mix the egg with the milk. Put the pastry on a pan. Brush the outline with a paintbrush. Put the almond cream in the middle of the pastry. Add the fève. Cover with the other sheet of pastry. Press a little to leave out the air. Pinch for closing the two sheets with your finger. Cut a line of the middle of the pasty to avoid the pastry to swell. Make little cuts all around the pastry with a knife. Draw diamonds on the pastry. Brush the pastry with the mix of milk and egg.

Bon appétit !