The best laid plans…

Sometimes the best intentions get you nowhere and the best laid plans fall apart.  It’s been like that with this week’s blog post!  I planned to write a new article about the French custom of eating galette des rois during the month of January.  I’d found a great recipe for a galette au chocolat on the Valrhona website (in French), and I was going to make that and show you the process and the results on the blog.  And then life intervened in the shape of the music festival that I help organise, and the galette never got made.

But to keep with my plan to post an article every other week, here is a re-run of an article from 2014 about  regular galette des rois – I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much.

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In France, Twelfth Night is celebrated with the galette des rois – a wonderful confection of buttery puff pastry, which is filled with almond frangipane.  The galette is usually eaten with friends and/or family, and can be found for sale in French bakeries throughout the month of January.  A small feve (bean or charm) is usually hidden in the filling, and the person who finds the feve in his or her slice is crowned king or queen for the day.  The feve can take all sorts of forms, from a simple dried bean to a porcelain figure such as this:

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If you don’t live anywhere near a bakery where you can buy a ready-made galette des rois, here is how to make your own.  The basic ingredients are very simple, especially if you buy the puff pastry ready-rolled: butter, almonds, sugar, cornflour, eggs.  I’ll be listing quantities at the end of this post as a printable recipe.  I had planned to add some dried yuzu (Japanese citrus) peel to the filling, which is in the yellow packet.  In the end I decided against it.

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To make the frangipane filling, beat the soft butter with the sugar until white and fluffy.

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Add the eggs and beat until incorporated.

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Add the ground almonds, cornflour and amaretto or brandy, and stir until well mixed.

Unroll one sheet of puff pastry and put on a lined baking sheet.  I used the bottom of a cake pan (25cm diam) to cut a neat circle, as the rolled sheets are always slightly oval.  Spread the apricot jam on the base to within 2 cm from the edges…

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…and top with the frangipane mixture.  Don’t forget to put the feve into the frangipane filling!

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Unroll the second sheet of puff pastry, and trim again.  Moisten the edges of the base with water and place the second sheet on top.  Press the edges to seal in the filling.

Mark the top of the pastry with a pattern of your choice:  spirals, zigzags or diamonds – whatever you like.  Glaze the top with beaten egg, which will give the finished galette a wonderful shiny finish.

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Bake the galette in a pre-heated oven (200C, 185C fan, gas 6) for 25 to 30 minutes.  When it comes out of the oven it should look somewhat like this:

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Leave the galette to cool to lukewarm, before you cut it!

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A few notes on the recipe:  I’m not sure whether I’ll be using the apricot jam the next time I make this.  I thought the tartness would complement the rich filling, but having tasted it, I’m not sure that it does.  You could roast the almonds before grinding them.  If you prefer a more pronounced almond flavour, you could add almond essence to the frangipane.  I brushed on too much of the beaten egg so that it went over the edges of the pastry, which stopped it from rising correctly.

Galette des Rois

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 rounds of ready rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp apricot jam
100g butter at room temperature
75g caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
125g ground almonds
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp amaretto or brandy
1 beaten egg for glazing

Pre-heat the oven to 200C – fan 185C – gas mark 6

To make the frangipane filling, beat the softened butter with the sugar until white and fluffy.  Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until incorporated.  Add the ground almonds, cornflour and amaretto or brandy, and stir until well mixed.

Unroll one sheet of puff pastry and put on a lined baking sheet.  I used the bottom of a cake pan to cut a neat round (the rolled sheets are always slightly oval).  Spread the apricot jam on the base, to within 2 cm of the edges, and top with the frangipane mixture.

Unroll the second sheet of puff pastry, and trim again.  Moisten the edges of the base with water and place the second sheet on top.  Press the edges to seal in the filling.

Mark the top of the pastry with a pattern of your choice:  spirals, zig-zags or diamonds – whatever you like.  Glaze the top with beaten egg, which will give the finished galette a wonderful shiny finish.

Bake the galette in a pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Leave to cool to lukewarm before cutting.

13 thoughts on “The best laid plans…

  1. I prefer the galette provençale which is made from enriched dough studied with candied fruit and shaped into a wreath. It’s not as rich as the traditional one. Many years ago I made a lighter, lower fat version for our cycling club Galettes des Rois get-together. I used filo pastry and lightened the filling with apple. It proved rather popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry not to hear about the galette au chocolat, but glad to hear the music festival is active (in some form).
    I realised this week that it must be 20 years since we first found midihideaways, here’s to being able to return soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our village has (had…in the before times) an aerobics class at the salle polyvalente, and the father of one gym-goer–a retired baker–supplied us with galettes du roi, both the frangipane style and the brioche style. With cider. So we would stop the class after half an hour in order to have time for eating and drinking. Very French.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad to see you’re posting again! Greetings from NC. Just got my first vaccine, which makes it possible to imagine an end to all this . . . and a trip to Saint-Chinian! XX

    Liked by 1 person

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