Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Make Your Own King Cake - Galette des Rois

Today, 6 January, is Epiphany. To celebrate, Zorra of Kochtopf has invited us to buy or bake a King Cake and to discuss our family Epiphany tradition. Although there is no family tradition on my part, and I in fact only learned about King Cakes when I started reading food blogs, I've always wanted to make a King Cake. You can find out more about the origin of the King Cake here.

Originally, my plan was to make the yeasted American version of the King Cake, as featured at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. However, my heart was stolen by the elegant French galette des rois. Armed with home-made puff pastry from my
Essential Ingredient baking class (the last piece!), how could I resist?

I used
this recipe for the Galette Des Rois, but omitted the feve (as I don't think my colleagues would be very appreciative of it, given that King Cakes are not a tradition among any of them either, to my knowledge) .

Basically, you cut out two 9 inch rounds of puff pastry. Place one round of pastry on a silpat mat, and brush a one inch border around the edge of it with egg wash.

You make a pastry cream and an almond cream, combine them, and then pile the mixture into the centre of the puff pastry ring, inside the egg wash border:

Finally, you top the tart with the other round of puff pastry, and seal the edges together by crimping them with a fork. You carve a design in the top of the tart using a sharp knife (I used a traditional swirly design), and cut a hole in the top of the galette to let out steam during baking:

The galette is then refrigerated for half an hour before baking in a hot oven for 40 minutes. The finished result is shown in the photo at the top of this post.

This galette was really quite fun and not very hard to make. I love pastry cream, so couldn't resist licking the bowl - any excuse to make it ;).

You can check out the King Cakes and shared traditions from everyone who came to Zorra's event after 12 January at
Zorra's site.


zorra said...

Yummie, this one I will bake last year!

Anonymous said...

We never made the king cake in my family but I am so intrigued by them!Especially when people put things inside, like a little baby jesus or a coin.

Maria said...

I made a king cake in High School! IT was fun..I will have to do it again! Yours looks great!

adele said...

Mmm. One of my college friends was a native New Orleanean, and her mother would mail a king cake to her around Mardi Gras every year. I can't see its resemblance to the French galette des rois (might need to do some reading), but they're both delicious in their own way.

I think the closest I'm getting to a New Year's resolution is a plan to make my own puff pastry this year. :)

Food.Baby said...

That looks great! I spent a Christmas in France years ago and still have my fèves somewhere. I'll have to hunt them out for next year.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for hosting this event Zorra - I learnt something, and the galette tasted oh so good!

Hi Maryann, I really wanted to put a baby Jesus in it - but I just knew the eaters wouldn't get it.

Thanks Maria - I want to make the yeasted version with the colourful icing next time.

You have a lucky friend Adele. Making the puff pastry is worth it - it's so much less like cardboard than the store bought equivalent.

Lucky you Susan - that would have been devine! I aspire to spend a Christmas in Europe somewhere - it is so gorgeous with all of their traditions.

The Blonde Duck said...

My husband is from Louisiana and he's obsessed with King Cakes!

Lorraine E said...

I've never heard of a King Cake either but it sounds fantastic! Thanks for enlightening me :D

Clumbsy Cookie said...

We also have a typical king's cake here in Portugal, ours is similar to the one you refer of New Orleans, but your "the french way" looks delicious. I also love that kind!

natalia said...

It must have been so nice with 'your' puff pastry !!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

It looks beautiful, Cakelaw! Anything filled with pastry cream is a winner in my book!

Jacque said...

Oh my... pastry cream and almond cream, together? Sounds beyond delicous.

Way to be adventurous and try something new!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Blonde Duck, Southern King Cakes look like so much fun with their bright colours! I wanna try one.

Hi Lorraine, it's amazing what you learn through blogging!

Hi Rita, I am intrigued - I will have to research the Portugese version.

Hi Natalia, it was great to have some left to use - it's easier to handle as well as better tasting than store-bought.

Thanks Susan - agreed!

Thanks Jacque - the filling is to die for!