What better way to ring in a new year than with a celebratory treat? Do as the French do, and celebrate with a traditional galette des rois, or “cake of kings.” This delicious almond pastry – served on the 6th of January – dates back to the 14th century, when it was first created to lure kings to the Epiphany, a Christian festival honoring the three wise men’s first visit to the baby Jesus.
Baked inside this frangipane-filled treat is traditionally a fève, or “bean.” The tart is divided into one slice per present guest plus one extra. As is tradition, whoever receives the fève in their slice is crowned king or queen for the day and may also pick their ruling partner.
Source a galette des rois from your local French bakery, or try your hand at making your own with this delicious recipe from MFCH’s own Editor-in-Chief, Sharon Santoni.
2 blocks ready-made puff pastry
2/3 cup (100g) ground almonds
1/3 cup (70g) softened butter
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 soup spoon of plain flour
1 soup spoon of rum
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
Roll out the puff pastry into two large identical rounds, placing one on a baking sheet.
Mix together all the other ingredients (except for one egg yolk — this will be used for brushing the pastry case).
Spread the almond mixture onto the first round, careful to go no closer than half an inch to the edge.
Carefully lay the second round of pastry over the top, and seal the edges with a little water.
Brush the top piece of pastry and around the sides with the egg yolk you set aside.
Bake in the oven until golden, for about 25 minutes.
Enjoy! Note: the galette can be eaten cold, but it is best slightly warm.