Galette des rois is a cake, made with puff pastry and frangipane, that originated in Catholic tradition in reference to the Three Kings. But let be honest, as any religious tradition, it became a culinary tradition starting before Christmas and ending during Mardi Gras. In France, you will either find the Galette des rois (puff pastry / frangipane) in the North part or the Gateau des rois (brioche with or without candied fruits - photo on the left) in the South. I personally, and not surprisingly, like both. It is a very playful tradition: each galette or gateau has a hidden charm or two and comes with one or two crowns (1 crown = 1 charm; and remember: this has nothing to do with Burger King!). The goal is to find the charm and be crowned King or Queen.
To make sure nobody is cheating, what you can do is ask an innocent person (if you can not find one, anybody around the table), to go under the table and name a person for whom you are cutting a slice.
As mentioned before, this has become a culinary tradition, so the charms that were previously representing biblical characters are now representing either neutral characters (ex: a dove for peace) or contemporary characters like Harry Potter, the Smurfs, a former French President and his wife, etc...
Here is how to make the Galette des rois:
- 0.38 lb / 175 g of almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 0.17 lb / 80 g of melted butter
- 0.2 lb / 90 g of sugar
- 2 puff pastry sheets
Step 1: prepare the marzipan
Mix the almonds, eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl.
Step 2: form the galette and cook
Put the first puff pastry sheet in a pie dish. Make holes with a fork so the bottom dough does not rise.
Spread the almond mixture on top of it.
close with the second puff pastry sheet (make sure it is sealed) and make some drawings with a knife, cutting a bit the dough to avoid it to rise too much. Brush with a mix of yolk and water.
Cook for 25 minutes or until golden at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.