On the sixth of January, France celebrates the Epiphanie, which commemorates the three kings which went to the stables after Jesus's birth, bringing him presents. Although I'm not a religious person, I quite like that day because in France we have a sweet treat that's been a tradition that I haven't seen anywhere else: the galette des rois! Basically the 'Tart of Kings' - I have been struggling to find an accurate translation as this is something proper to the French, but in short, it is like a pie filled with marzipan. Like the Twelfth Night cake, it has a little token inside it - originally, a bean was placed inside, but in time it's been replaced by cute little porcelain figures. The person who finds the figurine is named king or queen, and has the honour of wearing the much-coveted crown on their head! This is a fun tradition to celebrate, no matter if you're religious or not. To be honest, the galette doesn't hold a particular religious meaning actually - it's just an excuse to eat a yummy treat again! :P
So I'm sharing my recipe with you today! It was my first time using this recipe, and the galette turned out really soft, and the marzipan is super tasty but very light at the same time thanks to the custard cream that is added to the almond cream - a success!
The recipe is to carry out in different steps; follow the following and it'll be quick and simple:
~ The Custard Cream ~
~ Ingredients ~
~ 2 eggs
~ 25cl of whole milk (but works with semi-skimmed milk too)
~ 30g of flour
~ 50g of sugar
~ vanilla extract
1/ In a bowl, beath the two eggs with the sugar. Then add the flour.
2/ Boil the milk, and add it in the bowl while it's still boiling. Mix everything together, then put the preparation in the saucepan. When it's boiling again, whisk the preparation for around three minutes straight (be careful that it doesn't cling to the pan). Once the texture is thick and creamy, the custard is ready.
3/ Put the custard cream in a bowl, and cover it with cling film. Put it in the fridge for an hour to an hour and a half.
~ The Marzipan ~
~ Ingredients ~
~ 3 egg yolks
~ 100g of sugar
~ 125g of almond powder
~ 125g of butter
1/ Mix the butter and the sugar together. To make it easier, I advise you to melt the butter for around 20 seconds - you don't want it to be too liquid, just easier to work with.
2/ Once the paste is homogeneous, add the egg yolks, and then the almond powder. Mix everything together.
3/ Take the custard cream from the fridge and add it to this preparation. The custard will make the marzipan lighter and creamier.
~ Assembling the galette ~
~ Ingredients ~
~ 2 sheets of puff paste
~ two egg yolks
~ a token (or a raw bean if you want to make it traditional)
1/ After pre-heating the oven at 200°C, put the first sheet of puff paste in a round cake tin. Make the borders look even on the sides. With a kitchen brush, put some egg yolk in the outer corners of the paste.
2/ Add the marzipan, starting from the middle. Be careful not to put too much on the sides of the tin, stop at around 2cm of it. You can use a pastry bag, but the easy way, using a spoon, works great too.
3/ Add you little token somewhere in the galette - I chose a cute little crown, my mom got a set of those in a bakery recently.
4/ Cover with the second sheet of puff paste. Make sure that it looks even, and stick the borders of the paste with those of the first sheet, to close the galette.
5/ With the remaining egg yolk, cover the galette so that it turns crispy and golden. With the tip of a knife, gently create some designs to give shape to the galette. You don't want to cut into it though, so it has to be very mild. Create two or three small slits on the sides to prevent the galette from swelling.
6/ Finally, put the galette in the oven for 10min at 200°C, then another 30min at 180°C.
How good does that look? Even though it seems to take lots of time to prepare, it is not difficult at all and it is something very different from we tend to eat as treats in general. January is the only time of the year when these are sold in stores, so we always eat loads before it stops!
If you like marzipan, then this is totally for you. The association of the crispy paste and the soft marzipan is great, and this would make a nice new experience for those of you who have never tried galette before. My French friends and I baked one last year when we were in England, and none of our housemates knew about galette. And I have to say, all of those who tried it loved it! ;)
This time, my little brother got the figurine that was inside. Next time, the crown will be mine!
Have you ever seen galettes before, did you know about them? Also, do you have any traditional food that you've never seen anywhere else?