Starting late December, pastry shops in Paris start filling up with Galettes des rois or King’s Cake to celebrate the festive Epiphany on January 6th. Since they are so good they are pretty much around till the end of January. At School at LCB Paris, we learnt to make these, also known as Pithiviers named after a town in the south of Paris.
King’s Cakes in France usually are layers of puff pastry filled with almond cream, it’s so incredibly tasty you just can’t stop eating it knowing fully well what is it doing to your waistline. You can have all kinds of fillings but I love the creme amandes. The tradition is to add a little figurine inside and who ever gets it on cutting gets to be the king.
First rule – With puff pastry it’s important to keep it well-chilled and work very quickly. Keep the second piece in the refrigerator until after you’ve rolled out the first. Make sure to seal the edges really well to avoid the filling leaking out. Snap the two ends together with your fingers and then poke a few holes at the top to enable the steam to escape as it’s baking.
- Almond Filling
- 100 gms almond flour
- 100 gms sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 100 gms butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons rum
- Some almond extract
- 2 large 9x9 inches of puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- To make the almond filling, in a medium bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine almond flour, sugar and butter.
- Add eggs, rum and almond extract .
- Take one pastry sheet and roll it into a circle. Then use any round circumference - plate/bottom of a springform pan to get an exact circle. Roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle about 9½-inches (23cm) round. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
- Cover it with a sheet of parchment paper or plastic film, then roll the other piece of dough into a circle, trim it, and freeze the dough for thirty minutes.
- Remove the dough and almond filling from the refrigerator. Take one circle of the dough pastry out of the refrigerator. Spread the almond filling over the center of the dough leaving 1 inch around the edges. Placate figurine or the prize 🙂
- Brush water around the edges and then the other circle of dough on top of the galette and press down to seal the edges
- Preheat the oven at 180ºC. Using a fork press down the edges further to create a design.
- Stir together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the galette is browned on top and up the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.