Reyes Magos, Epifany, La Befana, Three Kings Day...International family means International traditions! I do admit we pick and choose our celebrations. January 6th has found its place in our household as "Los Reyes Magos". Mainly because we lived in Madrid when the kind caught on to the fact that in Spanish tradition the three kings bring the kids all their presents rather than Father Christmas. Add 2 plus 2....pressies for Christmas plus regalos for "Los Reyes Magos".
However, we now live in Paris, therefore I have decided to give our family tradition a twist by baking the typical French dessert bread called "La Galette des Rois" in preparation for tomorrow.
"La Galette des Rois" (the cake of the three kings), a cake made of frangipane (almond cream paste) and a buttery crust, is sold in patisseries all over France. These delicious cakes celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Many boulangeries now do different flavors besides the traditional almond including raspberry, pistachio, and chocolate. The cake is usually sold with a gold paper crown.
Here is how to make it yourself! Give it a try. It is really fast and easy.
La Galette des Rois (Serves 8)
1 1/4 lb frozen puff pastry
7 oz almond paste
Leave the puff pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours until defrosted but still cold.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with baking parchment or grease the pan and lightly sift flour on it. Shake off any excess flour. Roll each sheet of pastry into a circle about 12 inches across. Place one circle on the prepared pan.
Mix the egg with the almond paste until smooth and spread the mixture evenly on the prepared circle of pastry, leaving a border 1 1/2 inches wide all around. If you have a small piece of china, insert it into the almond mixture (you may also use a bean as the fève.) The person who gets the fève is the King or Queen for the day.
Place the second circle of pastry on top and press it down tightly around the rim.
Beat lightly the remaining egg and brush it on the top of the cake. With a long-bladed knife, press lightly but firmly through the egg glaze marking a crisscross pattern.
Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and puffed. Do not check for doneness for at least 15 minutes, as the pastry may collapse. Serve slightly warm or cold.