Galette Des Rois (Kings’ Cake)


Happy Epiphany! The twelve days of Christmas are officially over, but there are still more excuses for celebration. The Feast of the Epiphany, or the arrival of the three magi in Bethlehem to pay homage to the Christ Child, is not as widely celebrated in the US as it is in other countries, particularly France. In high school, my French class learned about and had our own Epiphany celebration, which led to my learning to make galette des rois. It is no wonder that so many French Christians celebrate the Epiphany when it means they get to feast on flaky layers of pastry and buttery almond cream, or frangipane.


This year, since I wasn’t making the galette for my whole French class, I decided to make tiny galettes for my family. Because I am a glutton for culinary punishment, I made puff pastry from scratch, which I had done twice before. Both times, I used Julia Child’s recipe and got great results. This year, I tried a recipe from White On Rice Couple . I can’t complain of anything with the recipe, but I decided to try the puff pastry book-fold technique for folding the dough I had seen on The Great British Bake-Off to create my flaky layers. It certainly did yield more layers, but maybe a few too many layers. I did the unthinkable and over-puffed my puff pastry! C’est la vie.

Not all of the galettes were as presentable as these three, but they still taste properly delicious. In addition to frangipane, some of them are filled with “F.R.O.G”—fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger— jam (which is as magnificent as it sounds) or a pinch of nutmeg. Since the primary flavors of the dessert are butter and almond, filling add-ins are very flexible. However, since this recipe gave me so many problems, I am not going to share it yet. It may take a few more Epiphanies before it is perfect.


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