galette des rois

6 01 2010

Happy 12th Night! January 6th is the Twelfth Night, the ending of the 12 Days of Christmas, and thereby marks the Epiphany in the Christian religious calendar. In Louisiana and other parts of the world, it is also the beginning of Mardi Gras season (aka Carnival). Normally this is when a King Cake starts making appearances at parties, social gatherings, and by the office coffee maker.

Since we will be away from Louisiana, I’m going to try making my own King Cake this year, but for today I’ll share the French cousin to the King Cake:

galette des rois 2010 - with crown

la Galette des Rois.

This delicious treat is usually made of almond cream, almond paste (marzipan), or almond custard (frangipane) baked between two layers of puff pastry. It took some finding – and asking – but I found several recipes available in English:

Dorie Greenspan shares a very traditional recipe

Tea Lover offers a simple recipe with helpful tips for making it look pretty

CakeSpy shares an adapted recipe for petit galettes des rois (adapted from the full-size recipe at AllRecipes.com)

Holybasil offers a delicious variation with chocolate and sliced pears

For this one, I used Dorie’s recipe and some assembly/baking mods from Tea Lover. I’ll try the mini galettes soon – after all, it’s still January. Save Holy Basil’s chocolate variation next year. The traditional recipe was a little labor intensive – and for me, quite messy – but very, very fun.

galette des rois 2010

Oh, my: it’s extremely delicious. I didn’t actually bake a favor inside (the feve), since a) only myself and Mr. Perches will be eating this first trial effort, and b) I don’t have anything that small that I could bake inside food. Something to search for over the next twelve months. So no favor, no “winner” – we’ll just crown Bebe as Monarch for the day.

And the Paper Crown? This would be a quick & fun activity for kids – and adults who like fiddly things. It’s like cutting papersnowflakes.

Materials:
1 sheet of regular paper, small scissors, tape or stapler

Directions:
Cut paper in half, lengthwise. Take one piece and again, cut in half, lengthwise. You now have 3 peices of paper: the wide front piece and 2 narrower strips to form the headband.

Use tape or stapler to attach the narrow strips together, end-to-end, to form a circular strip that fits on head – you may only need one or 1.5 strip to fit around a child’s head, so check the size before attaching the 2nd end.

Now for the fun part: the fancy crown front. As with paper snowflakes, fold in half or in quarters. Cut a crown design. Unfold and tape to the headband. Done!

As always, be careful with sharp, pointy objects. I myself am ridiculously prone to small injures while doing just about anything. I sometimes trip over my own feet. Seriously.

Progress? That makes #1 of 100 new desserts; #1 of 53 in my list for the Year of Lovely Things.

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5 responses

6 01 2010
Virginia

Happy Twelfth Night!

This is one of my favorite holidays. 🙂

6 01 2010
Kristi

That looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try it!

7 01 2010
Heather

I do love galette des rois so much, and yours looks amazing. Hoe you all had a wonderful time

7 01 2010
the mistress

That looks yummy!
My cooking club celebrated Carnaval at our January gathering by making Brazilian dishes, and we will celebrate Mardi Gras at our February gathering. I’m going to make a King Cake as well! I’m basing mine an an Emeril recipe that I found here: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/dessert/king-cake.html. I have to make sure it’s small enough so that someone gets the bebe. 😉

7 01 2010
alihilani

i forgot you told me not to come on here so i stopped at the lovely things blog! I swear i saw nothing! but this pastery looks devine!




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