In the month of January, the French celebrate the New Year with a special cake only made available at this time of year – the Galette des Rois. It is a puff pastry cake made with an almond frangipane filling, and a special surprise inside for a lucky eater. A small fève (or little charm) is baked into the cake, and whoever gets it in their slice of cake has good luck for the year! In our cake, we’ve baked a dried cherry inside! It’s remarkable easy to make if you can find ready made puff pastry, but looks impressive. A tip: when scoring the top of the cake before baking to make your design, be sure not to press down too hard and cut down into the filling. This will cause the filling to rise between the cracks during baking – what we don’t want! We learned this through trial and error.
Galette des Rois
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup cane sugar (regular sugar is fine)
- pinch salt
- zest of 1/2 orange
- 100g (7 Tbsp) butter, room temp.
- 2 large eggs, room temp.
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp Kirsch (cherry liqueur) or liqueur of choice (try rum)
- 1 dried cherry (a fève or charm of choice)
- 450g puff pastry, or two rolls prepared pie puff pastry, cold
- 1 egg yolk, beaten for glaze
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Mash in the butter until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each. Add the almond extract and Kirsch.
- Roll your puff pastry onto parchment paper, and cut it into a circle using a dinner plate as a guide. Discard the excess pastry edges. Repeat the same process with the second section of puff pastry.
- Place the almond filling in the center and spread to the edges, leaving 1 inch from the edge. Place the dried cherry, or charm, anywhere in the filling.
- Brush water around the 1 inch edge of the cake. Lay the second piece of puff pastry over top of the almond filling, matching the edges of the two pastry pieces. Press down gently to seal the edges.
- Pinch the sides of the edges as shown in the picture. Gently score the top of the cake with a sharp knife, creating a design of your own. Brush with the egg wash, leaving the edges (this will help the edges to rise up.)
- Place the cake in the fridge for about half an hour. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 30mins or until golden brown on top.