My delicious Galette des Rois is the perfect way to finally round up your Christmas festivities!
Just when you think that all of the festivities are over, there is just one little bit of Christmas left!
The Galette des Rois (Kings’ Cake) is traditionally eaten on Epiphany, which falls on 6th January. And it’s a lovely way to round off your Christmas festivities.
A Galette des Rois is a puff pastry cake which is filled with a sweet mix of almonds and eggs. Traditionally the cake is sliced up, and then the youngest person sits under the table and chooses who gets each slice. A small charm is hidden in the filling, and whoever finds the charm in it is King or Queen for the day.
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I’m always a little nervous around pastry. My hands are usually quite hot, so I find it hard to keep the dough nice and cool. So I use pre-rolled puff pastry sheets, which means that this recipe is even easy enough for me to make without throwing the dough across the kitchen in frustration!
If you’re making a larger Galette you could buy the blocks of pastry so that you can cut larger circles. Do buy the all-butter puff pastry though, rather than the kind made with margarine, the flavour will be much better.
It’s difficult to say how exactly how many this cake will serve. But if you need to cut more than 6 slices then you could increase the size of the Galette and make more filling. Or alternatively make two Galettes then you can choose and have two Kings or Queens.
Galette des Rois
This cake is traditionally eaten on Ephiphany, which is celebrated on 6th January. And whoever finds the charm inside the cake is King or Queen for the day!
- 2 sheets of all-butter puff pastry sheets, defrosted if necessary
- 75 g unsalted butter, softened
- 75 g icing sugar
- 75 g ground almonds
- 2 eggs
- Defrost the puff pastry ahead of time, if you have bought frozen pastry. This should take 2-3 hours at room temperature.
- Unroll the first sheet and cut a 20cm circle out of it, then cut a 22cm circle from the second sheet. I used a side plate as a guide because I’m not confident enough to do it freehand. Put the circles of pastry on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, and put them in the fridge for an hour to chill.
- After an hour preheat the oven to 200C (180C for a fan oven, Gas 6).
- Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar and almonds. At first it will look like there isn’t enough butter, but keep mixing and it will form a paste.
- Beat one of the eggs and then add it to the bowl and beat in to the mixture. Again, it may look like there is too much egg at first but it will come together.
- Take the pastry circles out of the fridge. Spoon the filling onto the smaller circle of pastry, leaving about 2cm clear around the edges. Hide the charm somewhere in the filling, around the edge is best so that you have less chance of hitting it with your knife when you are slicing the Galette.
- Beat the other egg, and brush around the edge of the disc of pastry. Place the larger disc over the top and press firmly around the sides to join the two layers together. Trim the excess pastry from the larger disc so that it looks neat
- Brush egg over the Galette, trying to make sure that the egg doesn’t drip down the side of the edges, as this may prevent it from rising properly.
- Use a sharp knife to make a small hole in the top, and then to mark lines down the sides like the spokes of a wheel.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the Galette is golden and puffy. Serve warm or cold.
You could add a little rum or amaretto to the crème when beating, although I didn’t this time. Some recipes suggest putting a layer of jam on the first disc before adding the crème d’amande – apricot or raspberry could work nicely.
In Raymond Blanc’s Christmas special, he put half of the crème on first, then a layer of sliced pears which had been lightly caramelised by frying in a little sugar. The pears were then topped with the remainder of the crème.