King Cake Recipe
This yummy galette des rois is the French version of a king cake recipe. It goes together easily and would make a fun party cake. Usually the galette is served only for a short period of time after Christmas, but I won't tell if you make it another time of the year!
Here in France, almost as soon as we are done eating our buche de Noêl, it is time to slice into this frangipane filled puffed pastry. In fact the two cakes overlap somewhat at the grocery store - in one aisle we can buy a discounted buche, and in the next the first of a month's worth of galettes.
Traditionally, the galette des rois is made to celebrate Epiphany, which falls on the 6th of January, twelve days after Christmas. The cake is eaten in celebration of the arrival of the three kings who have traveled from afar with gifts for the newborn baby. In practice, people eat this galette throughout January and, dare I say, it is a rather unreligious event for most.
A dried bean, known as la fève, is hidden in the cake, and whoever receives the bean in his piece of cake, is crowned king or queen for the duration of the party. Other popular traditions, include having the youngest member of the gathering sit under the table and designate to whom each piece of cake should be served.
Since the late 1800's, the bean in French celebrations is almost always replaced by a small porcelain or hard plastic figurine. Collecting these figurines has become a popular pastime and there is even a French word for this activity la favophilie. Some enterprising pastry makers include one valuable fève in one of the thousands of galettes they have for sale.
If you decide to hide a fève in your king cake recipe, don't forget to let your guests know before they begin eating. No one wants to bite down on a hard object or risk choking. Also make sure you have a crown ready, so they get their reward. Here is a simple way to make your own paper crown.
Serving Suggestion: Serve this king cake recipe with a not too sweet effervescent cider.
Galette des rois