The Galette des Rois (King’s Cake in English) is one of the most delicious French holiday traditions! This savory dessert was usually eaten only on Epiphany day on January 6th, the day when the Three Kings arrived to see baby Jesus. The cake is meant to symbolize the food that was given to the three kings as they passed by on their way to see baby Jesus. Nowadays you can find it in every boulangerie from January till February.
The Galette des Rois is a dessert to share with your family and friends. Inside the cake you will find a fève: literally fève means bean, but nowadays beans are replaced by small figurines. Whoever is lucky enough to find the fève is dubbed king or queen with a partner of their choice. When you buy your galette in a boulangerie, they will offer you a paper crown for the king or queen of the day! Traditionally the youngest person of the family has to decide who gets each slice of the cake while keeping his eyes closed so that it is impossible to cheat and try to get the fève for oneself!
In most regions the galette is made of puff pastry filled with frangipane. In the South of France, you can find another type of cake, which is called the “Gâteau des Rois”: a round brioche made with orange flower water and candied fruits, but you won’t find any fève in it.
Both desserts are exquisite, so we decided to give you both recipes! You just have to decide which side you’re on!
Galette des Rois
2 puff pastries
100 g ground almonds
75 g sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
5à g melted butter
Place the first puff pastry in a cake pan and prick it all over with a fork.
In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients together (grounded almonds, sugar, 1 egg, melted butter). Spread it all over the puff pastry in your cake pan. Now you have to place the fève! Do not place it in the center, otherwise, it will be too easy to find it!
Cover the galette with the second puff pastry and stick it to the first one.
You can decorate the pastry with a knife once you are done brush the pastry with one egg yolk. Slightly prick the pastry with a fork, otherwise, it will blow up during the cooking.
Put in an oven at 210°C during 30 to 40 minutes.
Gâteau des Rois
400 g flour
10 g baking powder
50 g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
150 g butter
2 teaspoon orange flower water
1 piece of lemon peel
50 g candied fruits
2 teaspoons apricot jam
In a bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and the orange flower water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and the lemon peel. Mix everything together to obtain a slightly sticky dough.
Put some flour on your working surface and knead the dough until it becomes firm. Gradually add the melted butter and keep kneading the dough for 5 to 10 minutes.
Make a ball with your dough and put it in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and let rest during 6 hours at room temperature. After 6 hours, put the bowl in the fridge and let rest all night long.
The day after, take the dough and knead it, then let it rest for 5 minutes. Make a hole in the center and stretch it to give it the form of a crown. Cover the dough and let it rest for 2 hours. Preheat the oven at 180°C and brush the pastry with one egg yolk.
Let it cook for 20 minutes, then let it cool.
Melt the apricot jam with one teaspoon orange flower water and brush your brioche with it. Last but not least, stick the candied fruits all over!