Jan 5, 2008

Holiday season isn't quite over yet...

Who wants to be a king? It's the moment to feast upon the Galette des Rois! Even though it has been days that these golden treats have been exposed at boulangeries and patisseries accross France, today is the official day to enjoy one.

So holiday season indeed isn't over yet- and that directly implies that your waist line hasn't stopped increasing! Unless you can resist all the delicious goodness that has been happening since December... but that would never be the case for me.

As with Christmas' buches, patissiers in France have been flirting with the traditionnal galette to present one with a more personal touch. It seems that raspberries have been quite "the" ingredient to use this year as I've spotted quite a lot of galettes that include the divine pink fruit.

Of course, there are some names I naturally keep an eye on- Fauchon, Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, etc- to see what they've kept in store for this year's Epiphany. And so I compiled a small collection of some interesting approaches to the galette des rois:

1- Raspberry & Vanilla square shaped galette from Fauchon. (more on http://www.fauchon.fr/)
2-Beautifully named "Coeur de Rubis" includes rasbperry, almond and chocolate flavours; from Dalloyau (more on http://www.dalloyau.com/)
3-Gingerbread flavoured frangipane from Ladurée (more on http://www.laduree.fr/)
4-The Lenotre "galette jubilé" amazes one with roasted apples, calisson d'Aix paste and passion fruit (more on http://www.lenotre.fr/)
5-Loyal to tradition, a classic galette from Paul (more on http://www.paul.fr/)
6-Pierre Hermé's Ispahan galette- need I say more? (more on http://www.pierreherme.com/)

As you can see, the above descriptions all sound terribly mouthwatering and I'm sure are all worth a try. However, as much pleasure as they may provide, there is also an immense pleasure in home made galettes. In sticking to the historical idea that a galette should ressemble a golden sun, I tried my own thing and found myself drifting far far away from mr.puff pastry!

I went for phyllo instead- seven layers of phyllo to be precise! I guess this may be in reference to my origins (Middle Eastern and Greek) but in no way was it somesort of a round baklava! Replacing the nuts was a mixture of fresh apples and marzipan- and not frangipane because I have an issue with eggs. Imbedded in between the layers of crispy phyllo (lightly brushed with honey and butter), this galette of mine came out of the oven ressembling a flaming golden sun. What I was particularly pleased with was the taste of fresh apples- it added a fruity touch and there was a real taste of apples in there- not some kind of artificial apple flavouring. That's the nice thing about home baking- you get the real flavours of ingredients shining through.

If any of this sounds tempting to you, scroll down for the recipe:

Recipe for a phyllo galette des rois:

  • 7 layers of phyllo
  • 3 large apples
  • A bar of marzipan
  • 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter combined with 2 tablespoons of honey

How to make it:

*Your mould needs to be smaller than the size of each phyllo sheet- this is essential!

  1. Preheat oven to th4/180C. Peel apples, remove seeds, cut in quarters and place in a mixer with the marzipan until you obtain a thick paste. Set aside.
  2. Butter the mould you will be using, and place a first sheet of phyllo.
  3. Lightly brush the phyllo with the butter/honey mix.
  4. Place on top a second layer of phyllo, and brush with butter/honey mix. Repeat process until five layers have been used.
  5. On top of the fifth layer, spread the apple/marzipan paste. Cover with a sixth layer of phyllo, and repeate. Cover with a seventh layer of phyllo and repeat.
  6. At this point, you have phyllo borders overflowing from the mould. Gently fold them inwards as if you were "closing" the galette.
  7. When "closed", drizzle over the honey/butter mix to "glue" everything well together.
  8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Remember to place the fève somewhere in there!

P.S: If anyone is interested, there is an article in French newspaper Le Figaro about how to identify a top knotch galette! http://madame.lefigaro.fr/cuisine/en-kiosque/992-comment-reconnaitre-une-bonne-galette-des-rois/1

*Crown image is from a Vivienne Westwood creation.


Su-Lin said...

Your galette des rois looks fantastic! Love the idea of crispy phyllo rather than the usual puff pastry.

Lisa said...

This is a fantastic post! Glad I'm not the only one still celebrating Christmas and getting ready for Epiphany. I am making two Galette des Rois cakes tomorrow, a pistachio and a traditional almond. I hope they turn out as lovely as your philo dough cake!