Galette de Rois – 3 Kings pie

Galette de rois

Happy New Year!

I know it’s already been a week since we all stepped into 2016 but nevertheless I wanted to wish you all the best for the coming 366 days. If this is the start of a new beginning for you, I wish you luck on your journey. If you mean to keep going as you did when 2015 ended then I hope it keeps going well for you.

As a child, I remember very well how we celebrated the arrival of the 3 kings (or wise men) on January 6th. We would dress up, cut a star out of cardboard and attach it to a stick then find something that could pass as a small treasure chest. We then went on our way around the neighbourhood singing the 3 kings song to any one who opened their front door. As a reward, we would get a chocolate gold coin or a clementine. When we had enough treasure we would go home to warm up and eat 3 Kings cake, or galette de rois as its called in French. My mother made a different version of the galette de rois than the one I’ve made but the concept is the same: make a cake or pie, stick in a coffee bean or almond or small toy and then see who gets the slice with the surprise. The lucky winner is crowned king for the day. Something we took very seriously as we got older (as in, we would boss around our siblings because, you know, we were the king).

Celebrate with a 3 kings cake called galette de rois

This galette de rois is not difficult to make. Buy yourself some ready rolled puffed pastry and the rest is just a matter of mixing and assembling. The recipe is for 1 galette enough to feed 6 people but I chose to make smaller versions because we’ve been eating so much cake in this house lately (Christmas, New Year and 2 kids celebrating their Name Day in the space of 14 days) that I wanted to tone it down a bit.

What about you, do you stop baking for a while after all the celebrations or do you just opt for healthier or smaller bakes?

Galette de rois

(serves 6)

Ingredients:

500g puffed pastry

125g soft butter

125g sugar

125 almond meal

2 eggs

1 tbsp Amaretto

1 egg yolk for glazing

1 coffee bean, almond or small heatproof toy

Method:

1. Using a standmixer with whisk (or a handmixer) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one by one mixing in between each egg. Mix well until the eggs are COMPLETELY combined. This can take a couple of minutes.

3. Add the Amaretto and mix.

4. Using a spatula, fold in the almond meal.

5. Cut 2 plate size circles out of the puff pastry. Place one on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

6. Add a about 1/2 a tsp of water to the egg yolk and mix. Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of the circle with the egg yolk (about 2-3cm thick).

7. Spoon the almond cream into the middle of the circle. Spread out until it nearly reaches the egg yolk. Be careful not to pile the cream too high. You might have some left over cream. Now place the bean/almond/heatproof toy somewhere in the cream.

8. Place the second circle of pastry on top and lightly press the edge down onto the bottom circle edge. The egg yolk will help the circles stick together.

9. Decorate the edge of the galette like this using the back of a knife.

(this image is from http://www.blogdechataigne.fr)Galette de rois: how to do the edges

10. Decorate the top of the galette if you want to. Using a sharp knife draw out a pattern without cutting through the pastry. Then brush the entire galette with the egg yolk and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

11. While your galette de rois is in de fridge, preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.

12. Take the galette out and put it in the middle of your oven. After 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 190 degrees C and bake for another 20 minutes.

13. Take out the galette when its a nice shiny, dark brown colour. Let it cool on a wire rack.

Make sure that if you use a small toy as surprise it can withstand high temperatures. Also, if you have small children it might be best to skip the surprise because of the possible chocking risk. 

If you want to try making smaller versions, reduce the oven times to 5 minutes at 220 degrees followed by 10 minutes at 190 degrees C. 

ENJOY!!

3 kings and galette de rois

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

pears

When does autumn start in your book? Do you stick to the official start on the 21st of september? Or does a certain event signify the start of grey days followed cozy evenings? A lady in my dance class recently told me that she refuses to acknowledge autumn until she is back from her late september sunny holiday. When I was younger, I considered summer to be over when school started.

I love the colours of the trees this time of year. The chestnuts on the ground which promptly get picked up by my kids and put in my handbag for safekeeping. The first scarves and gloves early in the morning. A cup of tea in the evening. The smell of our old radiators as they get switched on after months of rest. My Converse being put to the back of the shoe pile because they may be stylish but they are definitely not rain and puddle proof.

Autumn always makes me crave warmth in everything I eat or drink. Cinnamon in my porridge. Ginger in my tea. Cloves in my rice. And cardamom in my baking. I just want to wrap myself in a blanket of spices at this time of year. What’s your favourite autumn moment?

Warming pear and cardamom crumble cake

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

Server 6-8

Ingredients:

60g soft butter

50g sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

75g flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cardamom

2-3 ripe but firm pears, pealed, cored and cubed

For the topping:

30g flour

25g sugar

30 ice cold butter in cubes

3 tbsp chopped, blanched almonds

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Grease and flour a baking tin about 20×26 cm

3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the egg and beat well until completely incorporated.

5. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.

6. Pour the mixture into the tin and press it into the corners. The mixture will be thick and will spread out thin to fill the whole tin.

7. Top the mixture with the pear cubes.

8. Make the topping by using your fingers to rub the ice cold butter cubes, flour and sugar together until it forms crumbs. Then add the nuts.

9. Sprinkle the topping on top of the pears.

10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes.

11. Let cool in the tin and cut into squares.

ENJOY!

Pear and cardamom crumble cake perfect for autumn

Speculoos (Biscoff) milk with almond crumbs

The rain hasn’t stopped all week. And the icy wind seems to cut its way through every piece of clothing I wear in an attempt to stay warm. It’s the sort of day where you want to sit on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket holding a cup of something warm. Perhaps it’s a fruity tea or maybe you’ve opted for a hot chocolate. But consider this: cookies and milk in a cup. Yes, it is real and it is Yum (with a capital Y)!

Get yourself some speculoos (Biscoff cookies) or some gingerbread cookies. Get yourself some milk. Put the two together in a saucepan and heat it all up. Simple as that.

If you want to make it extra special, add some almond crumbs. Sit, sip and forget the greyness outside your window.

IMG_2939

 

Speculoos milk with almond crumbs

(Serves 2)

5-6 speculoos cookies

500ml (or 2 cups) of milk

optional:

2 tbsp ground almonds

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

Put the milk in a saucepan. Break the cookies in 2 and add to the milk.

Heat on medium heat and stir.

Don’t let the milk boil.

When all the cookies are dissolved and the milk is warm, pour into 2 cups (you can use a sieve to get rid of any last bits of cookie crumb).

Top with almond crumbs.

IMG_2930

Almond crumbs:

Put the ground almonds and brown sugar in a pan on medium heat.

Keep staring until the sugar melts and the ground almonds start to stick together in large crumbs.

Take off the heat and spread on a piece of baking paper to cool.

Sprinkle on top of speculoos milk.

Enjoy!

IMG_2945