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Galette des Rois

For the second time, I've made a galette des rois (kings' cake) for Epiphany (which is also the Coptic Christmas Eve); acutally I made two.  Last year, my puff pastry puffed only moderately; this year, lots of puff--oh glorious flaky layers!*--but both of the galettes leaked, losing quite a bit of filling. Thankfully, I had put in a lot of frangipane. Another thing for me to be thankful for is that these galettes des rois can be cooked at very high temperatures, seeing as how my oven doesn't like to cook anything under 200 degrees C / 400 F.

galette des rois

Next year will be my year!  But, I just might make another one in a couple of days to see if I can get it right. I want to eat more! I want to make more pretty designs on the top.

We invited some French friends over to enjoy them with us, and their youngest daughter got la fève. I had made a crown for her but forgot to take a picture.  If you go to this Wikipedia page and scroll down to the section about the French king cake, it'll tell you about the tradition.

For this year or next, for my own record, here is a list of sites and videos I used to study the recipe and techniques:

Recette pour pate

Recette technique de la pâte feuilletée par Chef Philippe (video and recipe; butter trick since "beurre de tourage" is not readily availabe to lay bakers: Put softened butter on baking paper or plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, flatten it into a 20X20 cm square, about 1.5 cm thick.  Put back in fridge to firm up a bit. Basically like this [video doesn't have sound])

Recette façon grand chef : la galette des rois (YouTube video about how to put the galette together and make the frangipane. This link writes out the recipe for the frangipane and provides slightly different instructions than the one I usually use for the puff pastry, adding 100 grams of melted butter to the detrempe. Might make it too rich for J. :P)

Recette Galette des Rois par Arnaud Delmontel (another YouTube video about how to put the galette together)

Pour chiqueter la galette

Some notes:
- Make sure to work the détrempe well so as not to have lumps in it that will cause the dough to crack upon rolling it out (yeah, learned that one the hard way).
- Re frangipane: Equal parts butter/sugar/almond powder didn't work for me. Way too sweet. Scale back on the sugar. Did not use a recipe that called for a thickener like cornstarch and the frangipane was fine. For two cakes, I did 250 each of b/s/ap and four eggs and had plenty left over.
- Do NOT crowd the border with filling; otherwise, a good seal will be impossible.
- Start the pastry the eve (at least) of baking day to save time and headaches. Dough keeps 2-3 days in fridge.
- By following the two-washes-with-egg procedure in the "grand chef" video, my galettes were shiny and did not need to be brushed with syrup. I brushed them anyhow, but maybe it would be better not to to cut back on sweetness

____________

* The angle doesn't do the cakes justice, making them look flatter than they were. :P

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
nipernaadiagain
Jan. 7th, 2015 06:14 am (UTC)
Interesting tradition and I really like the designs on the tops of the pies - they look so appealing!
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 07:27 am (UTC)
I'm making another for tomorrow! I hope it turns out as well.
frigg
Jan. 7th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
They look good to me. I think they'd be easier to make in Denmark (hint, hint) because of our colder climate. ;)
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC)
LOL. Well, you make them and let me know how they turn out, OK? ;)
frigg
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:23 am (UTC)
*snort*

That was obviously NOT what I meant, smartarse you. :p
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:36 am (UTC)
hmmmm, but wouldn't it be more logical for you to test the recipe before we spend thousands moving to Denmark? >:}
frigg
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:43 am (UTC)
I think it would be logical for the baker herself to try out the recipe. ;)

Plus houses are cheaper in Denmark than in France. ;)
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
(this is a great thread, you guys)
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 01:38 pm (UTC)
She always thinks up such convincing arguments. ;)
(Deleted comment)
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 06:37 am (UTC)
yeah, the oven is a disaster. :-< My landlady sent someone to work on it; his suggestion?: Cook with the bottom oven door open. o.O

frigg
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:24 am (UTC)
That's just mindboggling!
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:35 am (UTC)
nods. This was early last year when our landlady wanted to raise the rent. She didn't have a prob with his suggestion at the time but later (after getting over her anger that we didn't want to pay more) thought the guy was a charlatan. She hasn't sent anyone else to have a look. This was about 8 mo ago...
frigg
Jan. 9th, 2015 08:44 am (UTC)
Doesn't sound like anything will happen soon then... :(

But seriously, how difficult can it be to fix or replace an oven?
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 12:25 pm (UTC)
yeah, not holding my breath.

But seriously, how difficult can it be to fix or replace an oven?

Maybe two years? ;) Or three rather, if we take it from when I first told her about the prob.
frigg
Jan. 9th, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
*snort*
asakiyume
Jan. 8th, 2015 09:52 pm (UTC)
These are so beautiful! I love the designs you put on the top. Are they traditional or your own invention?

(I wasn't sure what frangipani was--no; it's not that I wasn't sure; it's that I was thinking of the flower. How can something be two such different things?)
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 06:17 am (UTC)
Well, I saw upon rereading that I had a typo, it being "frangipani," which, as you said is the flower. :P And the "e" ending is frangipane. I have to go back and correct that.

Regarding the designs, I didn't invent them. The first leafy one is "laurier" (bay leaf), at least the leaves are traditional; I couldn't really see in the video what the chef did inbetween the leaves, so I did what I thought he did. :P The swirly/spiral one is "Pithivier," which is a name for the cake (comes from the name of a French town), and is traditionally decorated with swirls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pithivier
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2015 12:52 pm (UTC)
I honestly thought that both the flower and the almond filling were spelled the same way!

I love both the patterns--I think "laurier" inches to the front, but I love both.
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 01:57 pm (UTC)
I think the most common design is diagonals (like diamonds or latticework) and epis (wheat sheaves) are the most common followed by the Pithivier. I'm not sure I've seen the laurier before. I'll have to pay attention next time I'm in France in January. :P

I haven't yet decided which motif I'll do tomorrow...
asakiyume
Jan. 9th, 2015 02:14 pm (UTC)
Wish I could be there to help eat... mmmmm...
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'd love to bake one for you. Who knows; maybe someday. :D
nebula99
Jan. 9th, 2015 11:01 am (UTC)
They look delicious!
mnfaure
Jan. 9th, 2015 12:26 pm (UTC)
So tasty I have invited different people over for tomorrow and have another puff pastry dough in the fridge, ready to go. :D
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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