In France, even if the Epiphany’s day is on the 6th of January, we celebrate it traditionally the first Sunday of January because Sunday is a day when most of people spend time with their family. To celebrate this event we eat a “galette des rois”, which according to the regions, this cake can be filled with apple, chocolate, or various ingredients. But the most common, is a cake made of puff pastry and filled with “frangipane”, a mix of almond powder, butter, flour and eggs. We celebrate the festivities with family or friends. Inside this cake we put one “fève”, which was in old times a bean later replaced by a little porcelain object which represent a “santon”. The one who get the bean will receive a crown which make him king or queen, and will have to choose his alter ego.
Originally, the Epiphany is the celebration of the light, because even if the days became longer since the 23rd of December, it’s from the 6th of January that we truly notice it. That’s why the galette is a circular golden cake to represent the sun.
During the king’s age, they celebrated the Epiphany (also called as “Saturnales”) in this way : the slaves were switching their roles with their masters, the sentenced to death had one day of reprieved during the festivities and soldiers had the right to interact with higher grades.
Recipe of Galette des rois (King’s cake) :
2 puff pastry
For the custard :
– 2 eggs
– 50 g of sugar
– 30 g of flour
– 25 cl of milk
– 1 table spoon of vanilla
For the almond cream :
– 3 egg yolks
– 125 g of almond powder
– 100 g of sugar
– 125 g of melted butter
Preparation of the recipe :
Prepare the custard :
Whisk eggs with sugar until the mix whitens.
Add the flour, mix it.
Put vanilla with the milk in a pan.
Heat the milk, and then pour it into the mix of eggs / sugar.
Mix the preparation on put it again into the pan. Thicken it with low fire.
Cover it and let it cool during 1 hour.
Prepare the almond cream :
Mix together the melted butter and sugar until the mix whitens.
Add the eggs one by one and then the almond powder.
Put a bit of egg yolk in a separate container, to brush it on the cake at the end (to make it shiny).
Mix the custard with the almond cream.
Spread a first puff pastry.
Spread the cream on the puff pastry.
Stop to spread it at 2 centimeters to the edge of the pastry.
Insert the fève (bean) inside the cream.
Brush the edge of the pastry with egg yolk. Put the second pastry and seal in each edge.
Brown the top of the cake with egg yolk. Draw some lines with a knife. Refrigerate the galette for one hour. Preheat the oven at 200° C, put the cake inside for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature at 180° C and continue to cook it during around 30 minutes.