It has been a bit of a strange week for my kitchen. Firstly, it has had a major clear out and tidy – the like of which it isn’t used to at all, and secondly I had not baked anything (except a homemade pizza) since before Christmas. Yesterday my equilibrium was restored and I tackled a baking first – a Galette des Rois.
|Galette des Rois|
|Our collection of feves|
As if we haven’t already eaten enough over the Christmas period the French have a special cake to mark twelfth night called Galette des Rois. Hidden in the cake is a small ‘feve’, a porcelain figure (often depicting nativity characters, although film and Disney characters are also common). Traditionally it falls to the youngest member of the family to decide who gets which slice of cake and the finder of the figure then wears the golden crown. The school dessert around the 6th January is usually galette des rois and the tradition seems to be the finder of the ‘feve’ has to provide another galette for the lunch table for tomorrow, and so it goes on until the shops have exhausted their supply of galettes (which have been available since before Christmas). I am unsure of the roots of this tradition, and I may be a bit cynical here, but I feel sure it has stemmed from the retailers! It is also common to be invited by any groups or organisations that you are a member of to partake in a slice of galette and a glass of cider, as a gesture of friendship. This year I decided to make my own and it was delicious and so much easier than I expected, I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before. Here is the recipe if you fancy giving it a go.
2 equal circles of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée). In France we are lucky to be able to get this handily cut into perfect circles. This is a bit of a cheat, but I do make my own short crust pastry, honest.
Place one circle on a baking tray (I used my 33cm/13” pizza tray) lined with greaseproof paper.
For the frangipani filling:
80g caster sugar
100g softened butter
3 large eggs beaten (I used our duck eggs)
140g ground almonds
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, the butter will need to be softened for this. Gradually beat in the egg and then mix in the ground almonds.
Place this mix in the centre of the pastry, leaving a 2cm gap at the edge, hide your ‘feve’ and cover with the second circle of pastry. I brushed the edge of the base with some beaten egg to help bind the edges and then made sure there was a good seal between the top and bottom layers. Gently score a crisscross pattern on the top and then brush with beaten egg.
Bake at Gas 6 (200) for about 30 mins until risen and golden. Serve warm or cold, it is delicious either way.