Time for another sweet treat, although this isn’t as sweet as my usual desserts!
I discovered the tradition of eating Galette des Rois on January 6 when we lived in Paris. It celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings at the birth of Jesus, and a trinket or dried bean is baked into the cake, and the person who finds it is the King (or Queen), gets to wear a crown and choose their Queen (or King).
We bought one from a French supermarket to take to a friend’s house that year, and what a mistake! (With all the patisseries in Paris, I don’t know what we were thinking… Actually, it was probably that we didn’t have to speak French if we just picked it up off a shelf…) It was a bland, dry and slightly chewy.
For some reason this galette popped into my head over Christmas, and I decided to bake one. This was a MUCH better experience than the supermarket version (and now I understand the tradition a little bit more!). Flaky puff pastry with a smooth, creamy, nutty (and not too sweet) filling.
Here’s the recipe:
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry (defrosted)
110g (4 oz) caster sugar
110g (4 oz) unsalted butter (softened)
110g (4 oz) almond meal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C (325°F).
2. Cut the puff pastry into circles. Place one circle on a sheet of baking paper.
3. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and with a smooth texture.
4. Continuing beating on slow speed, add the almond meal, then the eggs and vanilla extract.
5. Spread the almond mixture onto the pastry up to 2cm away from the edge. Cover the base with the second pastry circle and seal the two pastry sheets (to make sure the filling doesn’t escape!). A little water or milk can help seal the pastry.
6. Brush the pastry with milk using a pastry brush. Score a diamond pattern across the top of the pastry, being careful not to pierce the pastry (I was a little too careful and you can hardly see my pattern!).
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Do you have any Christmas dessert traditions outside of Christmas day?