Jan 6, 2012


The holiday season is such a great excuse to stuff yourself with all types of delicious foods....and just when you think it's about to come to an end...you realize there's one last thing to devour: a generous slice of a Galette des Rois. Mais oui, the food marathon is not over yet... at least not in the French tradition, where it is typical to enjoy the genius combination of puff pastry and frangipane on the day of Epiphany. Even if it's a 'seasonal' type of patisserie, I know many who wouldn't mind enjoying a slice all year round (ah yes, you know who you are!) - and that would certainly include myself. Because the truth is that, finalement, the simple nature of a Galette des Rois is addictively scrummy yummy, tout simplement! There's a warm, wholesome, comforting type of pleasure biting into it's golden buttery flakey crust and the rich creamy frangipane interior. The classic version is typically made with an almond flavoured frangipane, but  there's always the exception as each year the pastry chefs in France demonstrate their creativity and interpret the galette in an array of flavours. This year, I did not stray away too much- just a little- with a pralinoise frangipane, which is a beautiful caramel-like based marriage of hazelnuts and almonds. You'll see that the recipe for frangipane is super easy and is great not only in a Galette des Rois, but a fabulous addition to fruit tarts and other flakey pastries.
You can make the puff pastry from scratch, or buy it ready made (nothing wrong with that!)
The first step: roll out the puff pastry
Spread out a generous layer of frangipane
Mmmm...frangipane close-up, definately the best part!
Roll out a second layer of puff pastry, place on top of the frangipane, seal the edges and brush with egg yolks or milk. A little tip: pull out the galette five minutes before the end of it's baking time and sprinkle with icing sugar before placing it back in the oven. This will help give it a nice shiny appearance.
Voilà- servez vous! Finger licking good!

Recipe for Galette des Rois

Puff pastry:
If you make it from scratch, understand that the portions are for each 100gr of flour add 50gr of butter, a pinch of salt and drops of water if necessary. The butter should be cold (you can place it in the freezer before) and the dough should not be overworked. Before rolling it out, it's best to leave the puff pastry to rest in the fridge for a few hours. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made puff pastry (and that's not considered cheating by the way!) 

Pralinoise Frangipane:
The general rule for frangipane is for each 100gr of ground almonds you will need 100gr of butter, 100gr of sugar and 2 eggs. A pralinoise frangipane however is a combination of almonds and hazelnuts:

50gr almonds
50gr hazelnuts
100gr sugar
100gr butter, melted
2 eggs
1 egg yolk (or milk)

Prepare a tray lined with greased parchment paper. Place the sugar in a pan, place over heat. Just when it starts to melt and develop a nice caramel colour, turn off the heat and add the almonds and hazelnuts. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then transfer onto the tray and cool for about an hour. The result will be a hard type of brittle. Break into pieces, place in a mixer and grind into a fine powder- this is your 'pralin'. In a bowl, mix the powdered pralin and butter. Add the eggs and mix well. 

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Roll out a first layer of puff pastry. Spread a generous layer of pralinoise frangipane. Cover with a second layer of puff pastry. Brush with egg yolk or milk. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.

*If the thought of using all that butter in the frangipane frightens you, you can substitute half of the butter with apple sauce instead!