Monday, 6 January 2014

Galette des Rois (King's Cake) time!

It's Galette des Rois time of the year again..!

Galette des Rois

Normally falling on first Sunday of January, it's a French tradition that involves the finding of a little hidden trinket in your slice of galette des rois, bestowing you the chance to be King or Queen for the day (and, potentially a free pass to boss everyone else around). Back in the day, it was a little broad bean 'la fève' that was hidden in the cake but now it's really whatever little figurine/trinket you can find.

This time last year, my Mum had flown over from Australia to Paris to stay with me for a month after I broke my collarbone. John made a galette des rois when he came to visit us and Mum ended up biting into the little porcelain trinket making her to be Queen for the day! Although, my Mum being my Mum, felt uncomfortable not slaving away and looking after everyone else. She also thought it was a conspiracy that she ended up with the paper crown.

What I like about this annual tradition is that for one, it only comes once a year, like the Full Moon Festival. You can, but you don't eat moon cakes or galettes des rois any other time of the year. Secondly, there's a tradition to ensure the double blind randomised control distribution of the slices. The youngest child has the responsibility of choosing which slice goes to whom and gets to make these critical decisions underneath.. the table!

Okay, so here's the recipe we used this Sunday afternoon:

Galette des Rois (King's Cake)

2 sheets of ready rolled round puff pastry 
(if you need to cut it, the dimension is about 23cm diameter, make sure you choose a good brand that uses butter in the ingredients otherwise it won't puff out the same way)
1 yolk (for the glaze)

150g almond meal
50 g softened butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
10g corn starch
10mL milk
1 tablespoon of rum
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preparation - 10 minutes
Baking - 35 minutes

Add the cornstarch to a saucepan containing the milk. Over super low heat, gradually heat up the mixture making sure you whisk it well so that the texture is smooth and not gloopy. Add the rum and vanilla essence and continue to whisk over the stove.

In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, 2 eggs and softened butter together. 

Whisk away!

Add the warm mixture from the saucepan to the mixing bowl and continue to beat. Gradually add the almond meal in small portions and beat. 

Pour the almond cream mixture into the middle of the first sheet of puff pastry.

Be careful the mixture will try to escape

Drop in your little trinket of choice towards the edge of the cake!

Close up of Mr Penguin

Lightly score the galette with a knife. 

Choose your own pattern!

Use the yolk to go over all the nooks and crannies and the delicate scoring of the puff pastry before popping it into the oven at for 35 minutes at 180 degrees.

Nearly there!

After taking the galette out of the oven, it should puff up like this, or better than this (I hope!) with a golden finish. Allow it to cool a little before serving. 

Not perfect but um, it was the rustic look we were going for..

Distribute the slices according to the youngest child/adult's choices and make sure you warn your guests about the little fève (in case someone loses a tooth in the process of biting into your cake!)

Bon ap!


  1. What a lovely tradition. It makes me think though, whether I would be Queen for a day if I found Mr Penguin in my slice of galette where you and I are concerned :)

    1. Haha. It's against the rules to give up your fève...!