Galette des rois

Bitten by the pastry bug, my latest attempt was to make galette des rois or French Epiphany cake particularly after seeing David Lebovitz’s post on the same. How could the combination of these ingredients taste anything other than fabulous? But the results are far from perfect as you can see from these pictures. The first time I made it, the patterns that I scored on the surface were so faint that they did not even show up in the pictures. The second time was this (pictured above) and I didn’t realize I had handled the knife a little too enthusiastically. I’ll need a whole lot of brushing up here.

Tradition has it that if you find a tiny figurine in your slice you’ll be either king or queen for the night. You might be interested in reading more on this tradition here.

The stages

This recipe has been adapted from David Lebovitz’s website.
100 grams almond flour
100 grams sugar
A pinch of salt
Zest of half an orange
100 grams unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp rum
A bit of almond extract

450 grams puff pastry divided into two pieces, chilled
a whole almond or piece of candied fruit

1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk

For the almond filling, take a medium bowl and combine the almond flour, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Mash in the butter till fully incorporated. Stir in the eggs one at a time along with the rum and almond extract. Cover and chill.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a floured surface and trim it using a plate. I used a 9″ pie dish (the loose bottom only). Place the rolled dough on the baking sheet. Cover it with another piece of parchment paper then roll the other piece of dough into a circle. Lay it on top and chill for thirty minutes.

Take the filling from the fridge, remove one circle of pastry dough and spread the almond filling on the circle leaving an inch of exposed border. Place the whole almond or candied fruit in the filling.

Brush the exposed portion of the dough with water. Place the other rolled-out dough on top of the filling and seal the edges well. You can flute the edges and score patterns on the surface with a knife. I used my leaf cutter and made tendrils along the leaves. Make a few holes for the steam to escape while baking.

Brush the pastry with the egg yolk and milk mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes. After it is done, slide the galette on to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

It was indeed a joy to bake this dish. At a family gathering the moment I started cutting it into wedges, the portions vanished so fast that only miniscule crumbs were left to remind me that I had indeed baked galette des rois.🙂

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