A twist on a traditional Galette des Rois using hazelnuts and apples.
I have always wanted to make a Galette des Rois for the Epiphany and finally plucked up the courage today. In France, it is a cake which is traditionally eaten on 6 January, although some shops and bakeries make the most of this event by selling them up to a few months before the big date. But like any seasonal treat, such as the Yule Log or Hot Cross Buns, the window for making a Galette des Rois is brief and I’m glad to have finally tried my hand at making one. Here is Rachel Khoo’s version from My Little French Kitchen.
A Galette des Rois is normally a layer of frangipane (almond cream) encased between two layers of puff pastry. A fève (a dried fava bean or ceramic figurine) is usually hidden in the frangipane, and the lucky person who finds this fève in their slice has the honour of being king for the day. Rachel Khoo’s version has a layer of sliced apples on top of the frangipane, and the puff pastry base is cut to resemble a crown. It’s certainly an impressive variation on an old classic, and the apples give a nice balance to the cake which can otherwise be quite rich from all of the puff pastry.
The following recipe is not complicated but, as you can imagine, it is a little fiddly, especially when it comes to lining the cake tin with puff pastry and cutting out triangles to shape the crown. Having said that, and now that I understand the concept of this recipe, I think I would be much quicker the next time I make this cake.
Despite having used a larger cake tin than that specified in Rachel Khoo’s recipe (the original recipe calls for an 18 cm cake tin), I ended up baking my cake for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes until the pastry was golden and the apples were sufficiently cooked. But I think much has to do with the type and/or brand of puff pastry you are using and even the type of apples.
I wanted my cake to have a bit of a glossy sheen like an apple tart you might find in a café, so I heated a bit of apricot jam and brushed this over the cooked apples once it was out of the oven.
All in all, it was a fun and delicious recipe to recreate, something I hope to do again next year.
Galette des Rois with Apples
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- Line the bottom of a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
- Roll out the first sheet of puff pastry to fit the base of the cake tin.
- Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry into a long rectangle 15 cm (6 inches) high and long enough to line the side of the cake tin. You may need to do this in two strips. Line the sides of the cake tin with the pastry strips, allowing for some overlap where they join up and also where they meet with the base.
- Press down on the overlaps with your fingertips to seal the edges.
- Use a sharp knife to cut out triangles from the sides of the cake tin to resemble a crown, leaving a band of at least 3.5 cm (1.5 inches).
- Place the cake tin in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Toast the hazelnuts until golden. Leave to cool slightly before processing finely in a food processor.
- Add the caster sugar, salt, egg, and butter, and process until smooth.
- Spread the mixture over the base of the lined cake tin.
- Hide the fève in the frangipane.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apple and arrange the slices on top of the frangipane.
- Place the cake tin back in the fridge and chill for another 30 minutes.
- Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Place the cake tin on the hot baking tray, and reduce the temperature to 180°C (355°F).
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Heat a few tablespoons of apricot jam or honey in a small saucepan and brush over the cooked apple to make it glossy.
It is important that the cake is cold when it goes into the oven, otherwise the pastry may shrink and the “crown” may collapse.
It is also important that you leave a band of at least 3.5 cm (1.5 inches) when cutting triangles in the pastry for the crown, so that there is enough room for the frangipane to rise during baking.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: Nutritional info per slice
- Calories: 506
- Sugar: 12.5g
- Sodium: 140.6mg
- Fat: 39g
- Carbohydrates: 35.1g
- Fiber: 2.9g
- Protein: 7g
- Cholesterol: 50.1mg