Galette des Rois is a cake baked for the Epiphany on January 6, a religious day commemorating the arrival of the three Kings to the manger where Jesus was born. It is a very French tradition celebrated throughout January. And the best part? It has a charm hidden inside! Whoever gets the charm is King or Queen and gets to pick his or her own King or Queen.
I held a four-year record as Queen until about two years ago and no luck since 🙁 My time will come again!
The cake is made of pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) and creamy marzipan filling.
Two years ago I wanted to share this tradition with my friends in New York and bought two pies without looking at the price. A day later I look at the receipt: $160! Since I was planning on bringing one to Ean’s family’s place in Connecticut, I decided to make my own. It took me three tries to get the perfect filling and I put in the little porcelain charm my grandmother had given me. She had collected a few ever since she was a little girl and had kindly given them to me. Now I think about her every time I make a pie 🙂
2 puff pastry sheets, cut into a circle. One bigger, one smaller by 1 inch in diameter.
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup (100 g) of sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) of butter, room temperature
1 cup (100 g) of almond meal (almond flour)
1 cup (100g) of pastry cream
8.8 oz (250 ml) of whole milk
1 egg yolk
1.8 oz (50 g) of sugar
2 tbsp. (20 g) of all purpose flour
0.5 oz (15 g) of butter
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 piping bag or ziplock bag
2 paper crowns
Defrost the puff pastry for at least two hours.
To make the pastry cream:
In a small pot (off heat), mix the egg, egg yolk and sugar with a whisk until you see bubbles on the side. Add the flour while mixing constantly to avoid any clumps.
In a separate pot, add the milk and vanilla bean and bring to slight boil. Remove the actual bean and add the milk to the previous mixture. Place the pot of cream over low heat and use a spoon to mix slowly until the cream starts thickening. Add the butter. Remove from heat and cover the cream with parchment paper so that the surface doesn’t harden.
To make the marzipan cream:
Use a wooden spoon to mix the butter into a creamy consistency. Add the sugar and mix. Add the first egg, mix with a whisk. Add the second egg and mix until the batter becomes smooth (without overmixing). Add the rum then the almond meal.
Finally mix the pastry cream in the marzipan.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Place the smallest circle in front of you. Brush egg yolk or water all around the edge (about 1 inch from the edge). Add the marzipan cream into a piping bag. Starting from the center, start spiraling out stopping right before the egg yolk. You can use a ziplock bag and cut one tip if you don’t have a piping bag.
Add the largest circle on top and stick the edges of the circles together.
Use a knife to make small incisions all along the edge. Brush more egg yolk on top of the pastry puff and use a knife to decorate (with spirals, flowers…)
Place in the oven for 10 min then lower the oven temperature to 170°C (340°F). When it comes out, the galette should be golden.
Eat within a day or two, if it lasts that long!