The tradition of the King cake:
We have a delicious tradition in France for Epiphany that takes place on the 6th of January of every year, to celebrate the wise men that came to visit infant Jesus in his crib 6 days after he was born. We cook a pie (that we call a “galette”) with an almond filling in which we hide a small porcelain character (the “fève”). This “fève” was at first meant to represent a character of the Christmas scene (Joseph, Marie, infant Jesus, the shepherds, the donkey…) but nowadays the fève can represent nearly anything (mine from last year was “Leon the gherkin”!). The whole family then gather around the table to share the galette. The mother cuts it and the youngest, hidden under the table, distributes the slices to everybody (so it’s totally random. No cheating allowed here!!). The one who discovers the fève in his slice is proclaimed Queen or King of the day, have to choose a King or a Queen, and wear a paper crown all day long!! Children definitely love it, and I still have a small box at home with my collection of fèves of which I was very proud!
This tradition is called « Galette des rois » which simply means « King’s cake »
- 150g of almond powder
- 60g of soft unsalted butter
- 70g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tea spoon of almond extract
- 2 ready to use puff pastries
- 1 yoke of an egg
- 1 fève (if you don’t have any porcelain character available, you can use a well-washed coin, shell, or whatever stands the oven heat!)
- 2 crowns !!
Almond filling (Frangipane) : in a bowl, put the almond powder, the butter, the white sugar, the egg, and the tea spoon of almond extract. Mix all together using a fork.
Butter a pie dish and lower the first puff pastry in it. Pierce it several times with a fork so your galette won’t inflate like a balloon while cooking!
Evenly distribute the almond filling in the pie dish. Hide the fève in the filling, preferably on the edge to lower the risks of finding it when cutting the galette.
Cover everything with the second puff pastry. Join the two pastries together on the edge by moistening them with a little bit of water. Roll the edges on the inside of the pie.
Pierce the top of the pie with your fork and decorate it with the leftovers of the puff pastries.
Brush the egg yoke mixed with a little bit of water on the top of the pie. Cook for 30 min at 210°C (Th7). The tip of a knife should come out dry from the pie and the puff party must be all golden.
Enjoy warm or cold!!