Tomorrow, January 6th is Epiphany in France and over the last week, all the pastry shops go from the traditional yule log cakes, known as the bûche de noël, to the Galette des Rois!
You might have heard about the cake with the hidden bean or “fève” that is placed inside this almond cream-filled pastry and if you should find it in your piece you get crowned king for the day!
I love a little tradition and this year I wanted to make my own, but instead of making a giant one I thought I’d make them in individual sizes. I might even try and see if I can freeze a couple…
Thankfully, it’s quite a simple dessert to make and there’s no need to make your own puff pastry just roll out a couple packages, whip up a simple almond cream and in a half hour, you’re set!
*While in France, the porcelain “bean” is used, some like to put the more edible whole almond or a dried bean inside so no one breaks a tooth (though I’ve never heard of it happening.) This is also easier in the rest of the world where you may not find these little ceramic trinkets in the local kitchen shops or have any kicking around the cupboards from years past like we did.
Have you ever tried a galette des rois? What did you think? I hope a few of you might feel inspired to try it yourself now that you know just how simple it is and I’m told it’s perfectly reasonable to eat up until the end of the month, regardless that Epiphany will have passed.
Galette des Rois
- 2 rolls Puff pastry
- 100 g Almond ground
- 50 g Butter softened
- 80 g Sugar
- 1 Egg
- ½ Vanilla bean scraped (or a dash of vanilla extract)
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1 Almond/dried bean or porcelain "bean"
Preheat the oven to 210° C / 400° F
In a large bowl cream together your ground almonds, softened butter, sugar, whole egg and the vanilla beans from half a pod. Set aside.
Pull one of your puff pastry rolls out of the fridge and cut out four circles which will form your bases and place onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment. *
Poke holes into the 4 circles using a fork
Fill the centres with equal portions of the almond cream leaving a centimetre around the edge clean and don't forget to put your hidden bean inside one of them!
Cut your remaining pastry dough into four circles to be placed on top of your prepared desserts.
Press the seams together with two fingers and push the edge in with a knife to seal all the way around. Next score the tops into a pattern that is pleasing to you and be sure to puncture a few holes in the top so the steam can escape and your pastry will rise properly.
Mix the egg yolk with a little water and brush the tops of the pastry covering the entire surface but be sure the holes can still breathe.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Mine were golden after 8 minutes at which point I put a loose piece of aluminium foil over the tops so they wouldn't burn and let it cook the remaining 12 minutes.
If you make them ahead of time you can always preheat the oven just before serving and warm it up a few minutes before you dig in!