Thursday, 5 January 2012

Galette des Rois (French King Cake)

Tomorrow is the Epiphany (the day when a group of Kings or Magi visited baby Jesus) and in France we celebrate it by eating a Galette des Rois (the King's cake). In Spain, where I live, it is a bank holiday called El Dia de Los Reyes (King's day). People also exchange presents on that day (yeahhhh!). Spanish people also have a cake, called Roscon. I like it less, so I am making for tomorrow La Galette des Rois.  Tradition holds that the cake is to "draw the kings". A figurine, "la fève" is placed randomly in the galette and the person who gets it in his slice becomes King (wearing a paper crown) for the day and will offer the next cake. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to go under the table and name the recipient of the slices (yeah! we did that!)... Anyway, enough of the cultural insight, let's bake!

2 sheets of Puff Pastry
25cl "crème patissiere (see separate ingredients below)
50gr caster sugar
100gr softened butter
100gr ground almond
5cl Rhum (optional)

Ingredients for the Creme Pâtissière (this will make approx 50cl)
65gr plain flour
500ml milk
1 egg+2 egg yolks
75gr caster sugar
vanilla extract
pinch of salt
--> Pour the milk into a pan, and add some vanilla extract to it. Bring to a boil.
At the same time, mix the egg and egg yolks together with the caster sugar until light.Incorporate the flour little by little mixing well in between. Then add the milk to the mixture, whisking well. Pour the cream back onto the fire and whisk constantly until it thickens. Then pour into another bowl, to rest. (to avoid a skin to build on top, sprinkle some caster sugar over the crème)

Prepare the frangipane (mix in the Galette)

First, preheat the oven to 200°C. Whisk the softened butter with the sugar. Add the creme patissiere as well as ground almonds and rhum.

The Frangipane is ready for the Galette. Lay the 1st puff pastry into a tarte dish. Pour the frangipane in. Add the fève (optional). Cover with the second puff pastry. Decorate the tart and brush some egg on it; to allow it to brown perfectly.
Bake for 20-30 min unitl golden brown.

And if you make this recipe you will have some creme patissiere left.. You can make some sacristains for example.
Just spread the creme onto some puff pastry. Cut large lines of pastry. sprikle with flaked almonds. Twist the lines to make twirls. Brush some egg yolk again on the pastry. Sprinkle some caster sugar and flaked almonds again and in the oven until golden brown. This is what they look like:

Now, let's share this with family and friends.

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