Vacation in Paris Blog

Galette des rois à la Crème d’Amande

Places To Visit - Posted on Nov 27,2018 by Hampton*Jan

January 6 is the Feast of Epiphany, celebrating the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus. The Kings give their name to the pastry treat that is widely eaten in France to celebrate this day—la galette des rois. This version is perhaps the best known. It’s a flaky puff pastry cake filled with almond cream and a special surprise!

Serves 6 to 8
Active time: 10 minutes (almond cream); 30 minutes (assembly)
Chilling time: 1 hour to overnight (almond cream); 1 hour (assembly)
Bake time: 35 to 40 minutes

1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar 1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (50 g) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 rolls store-bought puff pastry (1 lb/454 g), thawed but chilled

1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
1 tablespoon heavy (35%) cream
1 dried bean or fève
1 paper crown

Make the almond cream:
1. Using handheld electric beaters on high speed, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Your mixture may look a little curdled, but that’s okay.
3. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond meal and salt until you have a smooth paste. It will be quite stiff.
4. Cover the almond mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Prepare the pastry:
1. Roll out the pastry and cut two circles (10 inches/25 cm and 9 inches /23 cm in diameter). Place them, separated and sandwiched by parchment paper, on a baking tray in the fridge until you are ready to use them.

Assemble the galette:
1. Whisk the egg and the cream together to make your egg wash. Remove the smaller pastry circle from the fridge and place it on a baking tray. Peel off the top layer of parchment, leaving the bottom parchment in place.

2. Spread the almond cream in the center of the pastry circle, leaving a border of about 1 inch (2.5 cm) around the edge. Place the dried bean or fève in the almond cream so that it’s completely covered. You can use an offset spatula to help spread the cream evenly over the pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry circle with the egg wash, making sure to keep the egg on the pastry and not dripping down the edges. (If you let the egg wash drip down, your puff pastry might not puff.)

3. Remove the larger pastry disk from the fridge, peel it off the parchment and carefully place it on top of the almond cream, lining up the edges of both pastry circles. (The larger size means the pastry covers the bottom circle of pastry all the way to the edges, even with the almond cream on top.) Gently press the edges down on both the egg-washed border and the almond cream with your hands, then use your fingertips (or the tines of a fork) to lightly press around the edges of the galette to seal it.

4. Use the back of a small, sharp knife to score a pattern on top of the pastry. You can make a grid pattern or a sun pattern. For the sun, start from the center of the galette and trace a slightly curved line to the very edge of the pastry. Do not cut through the pastry. Turn the galette slightly clockwise and repeat, until you have scored the top of the galette all over. Brush the top of the galette with more egg wash, making sure it doesn’t drip down the sides.

5. Place the baking tray with the galette in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C).

7. Remove the galette from the fridge, brush it one more time with egg wash, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.8. Place the galette on a wire rack and allow it to come to room temperature before serving topped with a paper crown!

Note: “Fève” means “bean,” and originally the galette des rois contained a dried bean instead of the porcelain or plastic trinkets you find in France these days. You might also hear the trinkets hidden in the galette referred to as santons, which means “little saints.” This refers to traditionally terracotta (nowadays porcelain) figurines, which represent the nativity characters and which can still sometimes be found inside galettes des rois today. The galette des rois is topped off with a paper crown. Tradition says that the youngest person in the room sits under the table and names who receives each slice (so there’s no way they can see who gets the fève). The person who finds the fève in their slice will wear the crown and be king (or queen) for the day.

Excerpted from In the French Kitchen with Kids by Mardi Michels. Copyright © 2018 Mardi Michels. Photography © Kyla Zanardi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

MARDI MICHELS is a full-time Francophile, French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. As part of her job, she runs cooking classes for boys aged 7 to 14. Mardi grew up in Australia, lived and taught in Paris for over five years and now calls Toronto home. In 2014, Mardi and her husband purchased an historic home in southwest France, which they operate as a vacation rental property ( In her spare time, Mardi teaches French cooking and baking classes in Toronto. Her debut cookbook, In the French kitchen with kids, published July 31, 2018 (Appetite by Random House). Read more at:



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