It is associated with the celebration of Epiphany. What it means in practice? You get to eat a lovely cake (scroll down to French King Cake to read more about it), nothing too fancy but very, very tasty. And there's even a fun bit to it. When you make the cake, you hide a ceramic figure in it. Whoever gets the trinket is the king for the day and gets to wear a golden crown (typically provided by the bakery who you buy the galette from!). Only here, there aren't any bakeries (don't get me started on the prices charged by a French bakery chain in London). So last night, when we sampled my first ever home-made galette des rois, there was no crown, and to be completely honest, there was no trinket either.
But what there was was the tastiest galette I have tasted in a while. Actually, the first galette I have tasted in a few years. And it was yum. The best bit? It's dead easy (if you cheat a little tiny bit and buy the pastry). So go on, you won't be disappointed. Try it out, for me, and I promise, you'll be the first making one next year.
- 375g puff pastry
- 2 eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 70g soft butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp almond essence
- Beat one egg and the white of the second egg (keep the yolk for later) with the almonds, butter and sugar.
- Add the flour and almond essence. Mix well.
- Split your pastry in half and roll out one half (ideally in a round shape, about 25cm in diameter).
- Spread the frangipane mix on the rolled out pastry, leaving a good 2cm all around.
- Brush the pastry left apparent with a little water.
- Place the trinket in the frangipane.
- Cover with the leftover pastry (that you will have rolled out to a similar shape) and crimp the sides shut.
- Make fine slits (not all the way through the pastry) with a sharp knife and little holes now and then (so some air can escape during cooking).
- Brush with eff yolk.