Celebrate the Epiphany with this classic Galette des Rois with Frangipane!
Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope you all had a wonderful festive season with your friends and families. They say that, when you have children, the days are long but the years are short. And indeed, I feel like the years are just flying by, and our two tiny tots are now not so tiny anymore. But I love watching them grow and blossom into fun and loving little people, even if catching a glimpse of one of their baby photos will make my heart skip my beat.
One fun part of my daughter getting older (she will soon transition from the terrible two’s to the terrifying three’s! ;-)) is indulging her in her favourite girly pasttimes. For the longest time, we avoided all things pink and pretty in our home, and our daughter was happiest when she could fight with her brother (and win) over the trucks and Transformers. But with the gifts from friends and family, it was inevitable that unicorns and tutus would one day rule her world, and it was actually her grandmother who introduced her to Hello Kitty.
Not that I should complain … long before my daughter was born, I began collecting little vintage porcelain Hello Kitty trinkets which are, although collectible, intended to be used as a fève in a Galette des Rois, a French cake which is eaten to celebrate the Epiphany.
I first came across these trinkets at a flea market in France and have slowly been adding to my collection whenever I see ones that I like. These days, you can even find fun ones at the supermarket; my most recent find were the Minion characters which were sold with packets of ground almonds, and I knew my son would love them.
The Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January and, as we are usually in the mountains around this date, I thought I would get a head start on making my Galette des Rois, not least because I have to make several so that each child has a fair chance of being crowned King (or Queen), and so I get to play with my many fèves 🙂 I actually forgot about my collection until a friend posted a photo on Instagram about her flea market finds in France. Mine had been sitting in a glass jar, hidden behind all of our glassware, never used until now.
The last time I made a Galette des Rois, I followed Rachel Khoo’s recipe which uses ground hazelnuts in the filling and is baked into the shape of a crown. This year, I wanted to make something a bit more traditional using an almond frangipane filling, although the following recipe is somewhat richer in that the frangipane is mixed with a crème pâtissière (thickened custard) to produce a more substantial filling.
Something tells me our children will love celebrating the Epiphany this year!
Galette des Rois with Frangipane
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6
To make the crème pâtissière
- 1 egg yolk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 12g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 30g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
To make the almond cream
- 100g icing sugar
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 120g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon rum (optional)
- 2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry (preferably made from butter)
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 teaspoon milk to make the egg wash
- 1 porcelain fève, large dried bean or large coin wrapped in foil
- a gold crown
To make the crème pâtissière
- In a medium bowl or jug, whisk together the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of the milk, cornflour (cornstarch), icing sugar, and vanilla.
- Place the rest of the milk into a medium saucepan and heat until it is just about to come to the boil, but do not let it boil.
- Slowly add the warm milk to the other ingredients, whisking quickly as you do.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, return the saucepan to the heat, and continue whisking slowly until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Once the custard has thickened, take the saucepan off the heat, and whisk in the butter.
- Pour the custard onto a plate and and cover with clingfilm, with the clingfilm directly touching the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Leave to cool completely.
To make the almond cream
- Using a stand mixer, beat all of the ingredients together until you have a thick paste.
- Once the crème pâtissière has completely cooled, mix it together with the almond cream. This forms the frangipane filling.
- Place a sheet of puff pastry onto a large sheet of baking paper.
- Using a plate or a cake tin as a guide, cut the puff pastry into a large circle, about 23-26 cm in diameter.
- Gently prick the puff pastry with a fork, but leave a good 2cm (1 inch) border.
- Spread the frangipane filling over the puff pastry, but within the border.
- Hide the fève in the frangipane filling towards the edge (it is better hidden towards the edge than towards the centre).
- Brush the border with some egg wash.
- Cut a second sheet of puff pastry to the same size as the base.
- Carefully cover the frangipane with the second sheet of puff pastry. You may need to stretch it a little as you press the edges together.
- Seal the edges however you like – the easiest way is to simply press down with the tines of a fork. I like to use a small paring knife to make small incisions every 2cm (1 inch).
- Place the galette into the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), and place a metal baking tray in the oven.
- Brush the top of the galette with some egg wash.
- If you like, you can create a decorative pattern on top of the galette by using a sharp knife to score the pastry (but make sure you do not cut into the pastry the whole way).
- Place the galette on a sheet of baking paper and onto the hot metal baking tray.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden and crisp.
- Serve the Galette des Rois at room temperature.
- Whoever finds the fève in their slice of Galette des Rois is crowned King or Queen!
Share your photos!
If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using #eatlittlebird