Friday, 23 January 2015

Epiphany - Galette des Rois/Cake of the Kings

Epiphany - Galette des Rois/Cake of the Kings

We usually celebrate Epiphany or twelfth night at my parents' house, but we did it at ours this year. It is a lovely way to celebrate the nearing end of Christmas and is really what the whole season is about; Celebrating Jesus' birth together as a family, eating, drinking & playing games. 

For an extra special Epiphany treat, bake this Galette des Rois recipe. Also referred to as king cake, it's made of homemade almond cream filling sandwiched between two, buttery layers of puff pastry. In France, it's customary to nestle 'le fève' (bean) inside the rich filling. Over time 'le fève' was replaced with a tiny figurine and the person who receives the piece containing 'le fève' is "crowned" king or queen for the day. 

My mum made this and it was delicious with some vanilla yogurt, but you could serve it with cream or whatever you fancy.

Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream

 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed according to package directions
2 eggs1/4 cup almond paste
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 dried bean (lima or kidney beans work well)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. 
Butter a large baking sheet (not dark metal). 
In a food processor, purée the almond paste, sugar, butter and pinch of salt until smooth. 
Add 1 egg, vanilla and almond extract, then purée until incorporated. 
Add the flour and pulse to mix it in.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of the puff pastry into an 11.5 inch square. Invert an 11 inch pie plate onto the square and cut out a round shape by tracing the outline of the pie plate with the tip of a paring knife. 
Brush the flour from both sides of the round and place it on the buttered baking sheet. Put in the refrigerator to chill. Repeat the procedure with the second square of puff pastry, but leave it on the floured work surface.
Beat the remaining egg and brush some of it on top of the second round. Score decoratively all over the top using the tip of a paring knife and make several small slits all the way through the pastry to create steam vents.
Remove the first sheet from the refrigerator and brush some of the egg in a 1 inch border around the edge. Mound the almond cream in the centre, spreading slightly.
Bury the bean in the almond cream. Place the scored round on top and press the edges together.

Bake the galette in the lower third of the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and dust with the confectioner's sugar. Place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and return galette to cook for an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until the edge is a deep golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. 

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