*Galette des Rois, traditional French cake made of puff pastry and filled with frangipane (almond paste). Scroll down for the recipe*
Did you make any new years resolutions? If you do, I hope they don’t involve cutting back on cakes. Because let’s be honest, cakes and desserts are just part of the joys in life, aren’t they? And it’s such a shame that many of us go through the whole first month of the year depriving themselves of desserts, while we all know this no-dessert policy goes out of the window as soon as it’s February.
The French have a effective tradition to counter new years resolutions that have anything to do with dieting, la Galette des Rois, the kings’ cake. This galette is eaten all through January, to celebrate Epiphany. It’s made of puff pastry with an almond paste filling, and it traditionally contains la fève, a small object hidden in the cake.
La fève was originally a small figure, representing baby Jesus. I’m glad nowadays they’ve replaced it with a golden bean or plastic cartoon figures, because you don’t want to accidentally bite the baby Jesus!
Whoever finds la fève, get’s to be ‘king’ for the day. Most store-bought galettes des rois come with a golden crown for this purpose, so you can ‘crown’ the king immediately.
You’ll find this cake everywhere, all supermarkets and bakeries sell heaps of them in the first weeks of January. It’s still a very alive tradition, given my trouble to find puff pastry and ground almonds, the two key ingredients. In my supermarché I heard several women (yes, all women and not only that, they were of a certain age too. I guess younger people prefer to buy them ready made) complain about the lack of stock.
So throw your new years resolutions overboard and make this delicious cake. It’s not overly sweet, so no need to feel guilty (if you can forget about the puff pastry for a second).
- 100 gr + 1 tbsp of sugar
- 100 gr of soft butter
- 120 gr of ground almonds
- zest of one orange (untreated)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp of milk
- 1 roll of ready to use puff pastry
- Mix 100 gr of sugar, the butter, the ground almonds and the orange zest
- Add 1 of the eggs and mix until fully incorporated (you'll need the other egg later)
- Take out the roll of puff pastry and cut out two cirkels of 16 cm in diameter
- Place one cirkel on a baking tray, on baking paper
- Put the almond cream in the centre, leaving about 2 cm of the edge free
- If you want to add a fève, now is the time!
- Use a bit of water to moisture the edges
- Take out the second cirkel and place it on top of the other one
- Press the edges together
- Take the blunt side of a knife to decorate the galette, pushing it into the dough in any pattern you like
- Mix the other egg with the milk and brush the cake with it
- Put in the fridge for 30 minutes, take it out and brush with egg for a second time
- Preheat the oven to 180 C
- Take a skewer and make 5 holes in the cake, so it rises evenly
- Bake the galette for 30-35 minutes until golden brown
- Take the tablespoon of sugar and mix it with one tablespoon of boiling water
- Brush the cake with it and place it in the oven for one more minute to give it a great shine
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool