Tuesday, January 10, 2012

King’s Cake / Twelfth Night Cake / Galette des Rois

The Epiphany, which falls on January 6 or the 12th day after Christmas, is a Christian feast. On that day, to celebrate the visitation of the Magi (also called The Three Wise Men or Three Kings) to the Baby Jesus people eat the traditional King’s Cake. The lucky person who gets the slice of pie containing the trinket which has been hidden in is crowned King or Queen.  In Lyons, where I am from, the traditional King’s Cake is a puff pastry with frangipani filling.

Lucky charm – A Queen figurine

King’s Cake - La Galette des Rois

You will need:
  • A  (23cm Ø) pie shell
  • Puff-pastry or blitz puff version: 400-450gr (depending on the size of pie shell)
Make the pastry dough (see 2nd recipe below) or take it out from the freezer if you have made it in advance. Divide the dough into 2 balls. 
Roll out the pastry into 2 circle shapes: 1 circle shape as large as top of pie shell and 1 circle as large as bottom + sides.

  • 120gr almond flour (sifted)
  • 120gr sugar (sifted)
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk (to brush top of pastry)
  • 120gr butter (soften)
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 luck charm

  1. Cream the butter in a bowl with a large wooden spoon.
  2. Beat in the sugar and almond flour. 
  3. Add egg and rum and mix well until the mixture gets smooth.
  4. Line the pie pan with the larger pastry circle. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork.
  5. Spoon the creamy frangipani mixture in the pie shell.
  6. Cover with the smaller circle rolled out dough. Pinch the edges together.
  7. Make a small hole in the centre with the point of a knife to allow steam to escape.
  8. Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern and brush with egg yolk (previously beaten).
  9. Preheat oven at 210°C for 15min.
  10. Bake for about 30min or until top turns golden. 
Note: I like to buy almonds with their skins on as the skin is rich in antioxidants and I grind them in my coffee grinder.
Aunt Genevieve’s Blitz Puff Pastry (Pâte semi-feuilletée)

The traditional puff pastry uses an equal weight of flour and butter. The blitz version (also called half-pastry or rough puff pastry) is less rich (less butter) and easier to make (although it does not puff as high).

  • 250gr flour
  • 150gr unsalted butter
  • 125ml cold water
  • 2-3 pinches of table salt
  1. 250gr flour: 150gr (in a mixing bowl) + 100gr (set aside on counter-top)
  2. In the mixing bowl, add salt in the flour and stir well.
  3. Add cold butter cut into cubes
  4. Pour cold water on top of butter.
  5. Work in the butter with the flour with 2 tablespoons until you get a sticky dough. Don’t use hands (too hot).
  6. Place dough roll on a lightly floured surface (from the 100gr set aside).
  7. (A) Sprinkle the dough with some flour and roll it into a rectangle with a rolling pin; fold the rectangle into two and turn it over.
  8. Repeat (A) until there is no more flour left.
  9. Wrap dough in plastic film and chill it for at least one hour before using.
Note: the dough can be made in advance and frozen.

Bon appétit!

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