It is already half way past January, and I realised that I haven’t posted this year’s Galette des Rois (French Epiphany cake/pie) yet. I like eating Galette des Rois on 6th January, marking the end of Christmas period, and tidying up the all the Christmas decoration. It is not common to bake anything for Epiphany here, but I love the taste and fun of the galette and I love making food relating to certain dates and celebration.
Traditionally, this is a puff pastry pie with almond paste (frangipane) or apple in the middle with a small charm (fève) hidden inside. Some put custard with frangipane, but I added thin layer of margipan and apricot jam with frangipane. It’s just I had left over margipan in cupboard, and I liked apricot jam with frangipane. It works very well, it make the galette more almond-y and sweet. (Sorry, if this addition offends any French) I used a dry white bean as a fève.
Last year, I added left over mince meat to frangipane, that was also tasty. Last year’s Galette des Rois here. I guess if you don’t mind about altering tradition, you can add many tasty combination.
I made rough puff, instead of real puff pastry. It is slightly quicker to make, and layers comes out well.
New technique I used this year, after seeing it done in French baker’s book; Instead of cutting out circles out of rectangle puff sheets, you can hold back four corners of square block of puff pastry, making it flat ball shape then roll it into circles leaving no off cuts. You might worry that it might destroy layers of puff pastry, but as long as you fold in (not kneading) the corners, layers are there when you eat it.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really organised for Epiphany, so my Galette wasn’t ready for the morning of 6th. I made it on 6th and we ate it on 7th. I was too busy tidying baubles as well as making the galette on the day. Hopefully I will be more organised to do this properly.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to have French Galette des Rois or Spanish version Roscón de Reyes, so I made both in the end. Roscón de Reyes is sweet ring shaped soft bread, flavored with orange blossom water and topped with candied fruits like jewels. My friend who lived in Spain for 7 years told me about it, and she said they eat it with whipped cream in the middle. (Nigel Slater’s take on Roscon here Guardian article, although he doesn’t use orange blossom water in his recipe)
I didn’t add whipped cream this year, as I realised once you add fresh cream you need to eat whole thing in one go. My family is small and we also had a galette to eat as well, so I kept it as a bread and enjoyed it over a few days.