Every child in France waits impatiently for Epiphany (January 6th) for the delicious spectacle of the Galette des Rois. Supposedly, it's a traditional dessert created to honour the three kings who travelled thousands of miles to visit the baby Jesus in Bethlehem… but actually it is a load of old baloney! It was really created in more modern times by an enterprising French pâtissier who saw the chance to make a quick profit! Nevertheless, it is a marvellous party dessert as traditionally two little figurines or 'fèves' are hidden in the almond cream; whoever finds one of them will become the King or Queen for the day, and everyone else must obey their every whim! Of course, one must mind their teeth...
For the puff pastry:
Puff pastry, all butter
Egg yolk, organic or free range, beaten for glazing
For the almond cream:
Butter, unsalted, at room temperature
Whole egg, organic or free range
Egg yolk, organic or free range
Dark rum or Cognac
Rolling out the circles of pastry:
Lightly flour your work surface then, with a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry into two sheets of pastry – 35cm x 22.5cm, cut a 20cm circle for the base from one sheet and a 22cm circle for the top out of the other sheet; refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour to firm up the pastry and prevent any retraction whilst cooking.
Making the almond cream:
In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients together and mix to a smooth texture; reserve in the fridge.
Making the Galette:
Place one disc of pastry on a baking sheet. Spoon the almond cream into the centre, then, with a palette knife, spread the cream into an even circle leaving a 2cm edge around.
Brush the beaten egg yolk and water mixture around the 2cm edge and carefully drape the other circle of pastry neatly on top. Press gently on the edge to seal the pastry.
With the back of a knife, score the outside edge of the pastry all around. This will completely seal the two rounds of pastry and also give an attractive presentation.
Making the Galette cont...
Place the base disc of pastry onto a baking sheet.
Spoon the almond cream into the centre of the puff pastry, and with a palette knife, spread the cream into an even circle leaving a 2cm gap from the edge. Brush the beaten egg yolk mixture around the 2cm gap and carefully drape the top circle of pastry neatly on top; press gently to expel all the air and, using your thumb, seal the pastry all around the edge.
Chill or deep freeze the galette for 1 hour to firm up the pastry, and with a sharp knife, trim the edge of the galette to an even circle so that it rises evenly.
With the back of a knife, crimp the outside edge of the pastry all around. Here you can use your artistic flair.
Scoring the Galette and egg washing:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Brush the Galette with beaten egg yolk.
With the side of a fork or back of a knife, start from the centre of the Galette and score a spiral right up to the edge of the pastry. Repeat this to achieve an attractive design.
Cooking the Galette:
Cook in the preheated oven at 180°C for 45 minutes.
THIS RECIPE IS ADAPTED FROM THE BOOK KITCHEN SECRETS
Raymond’s love of delicious food is lifelong. Years of experience have given him a rich store of knowledge and the skill to create fantastic dishes that work time after time. With a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities - and useful tips throughout - this book brings Gallic passion and precision into the home kitchen.