Galette Des Rois (King Cake)

Galette des Rois (King Cake) is a famous pastry that is enjoyed on the Ephiphany. It celebrates the day the three wise men visited the baby Jesus (January 6th). This one also celebrates my Dad’s birthday (yesterday!), and my brother-in-law’s birthday (today!).

And baby Jesus too (I don’t want to make him fussy). 

Galette des Rois is made up of flaky puff pastry that is filled with luscious, almond cream. A dried bean is usually hidden within the filling, and whoever has the piece that contains the dried bean is pronounced King or Queen for the day. I did not include a dried bean in my Galette des Rois for two reasons. One, I had a horrible fear of one of my family members choking on it, and two, I just plum forgot to put a dried bean in. Let’s make some Galette des Rois!

I used Erin Jeanne McDowell’s recipe for puff pastry from her awesome and informative baking book The Fearless Baker. You could also use ready-made pastry, or even this rough puff pastry recipe. For the almond cream, I used Richard Bertinet’s recipe from his beautiful book Pastry

Let’s get to baking! Roll out two rough, 9-inch in diameter circles of puff pastry. 

Using the first rough circle, make an 8-inch in diameter mark around the edge, and then prick the middle with a fork. Be sure not to go all the way through the dough with these markings.

Fill with almond cream within the middle of the circle mark.

Brush the edge with an egg wash.

Place the second rolled out pastry on top. Pinch the edges together, and make diagonal lines with the back of a knife. Again, be sure not to cut all the way through the pastry. Finally, brush with an egg wash.

Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

While still warm, brush the pastry with a sugar syrup to make it glisten.

Galette des Rois (King Cake)
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For the almond cream
  1. 1 Stick (113 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS (125 g) Super Fine Sugar
  3. 1 and ¼ cups (125 g) Almond Flour
  4. 3 TBS (24 g) All-Purpose Flour
  5. 2 Large Eggs
  6. 1 TBS Rum
For assembly of the Galette des Rois
  1. 1 lb. Puff Pastry, divided in half
  2. 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
  3. Sugar Syrup
To make the almond cream
  1. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the butter until smooth and soft. Mix in the sugar, and almond flour until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the flour until incorporated, then add the eggs. Finally, mix in the rum. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure every bit has been incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the almond cream for at least 15 minutes.
To assemble the Galette des Rois
  1. Place a large, greased baking sheet in the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the divided pieces of puff pastry to rough, 9-inch in diameter circles. Set one circle aside. With the other circle in front of you use the back of a sharp knife to make a mark around the perimeter of the edge, about ½-inch in. Using a fork, prick all around within the middle of the marked circle. Be sure not to cut all the way through the pastry. Brush the edge with the beaten egg wash, and then smooth on the almond cream within the marked circle.
  3. Place the second piece of puff pastry on top. Pinch the edges together. Using the back of a sharp knife create decorative markings all around the top of the pastry. Crimp the edges of the pastry, and then make a tiny hole in middle of the top (this will allow steam to get out). Brush all around with the beaten egg wash.
  4. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, and gently place the pastry on top. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F., and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Once out of the oven, and while still warm, brush the pastry with sugar syrup. Enjoy!
Special equipment needed
  1. Rolling pin
  2. Hand-held or standing mixer
  3. Large baking sheet
  4. Pastry brush
Adapted from Pastry
Adapted from Pastry
Project Pastry Love http://www.projectpastrylove.com/
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