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

French Madeleines

Tray of madeleines and tea cup

In the end, I decided to take a break from every day life. 3 weeks free from the daily routines and the daily stresses that come with it. I decided to relax, clear my head and put all my thoughts and ideas in order. I let it all go for a while and lived very much in the moment. For the first time in my life I lived in the present. In the now. And I can tell you it felt great.

I have a holiday ritual. I look back over the time since my last holiday and take stock. I think about how I have felt in that time. What I have done or not done. What I wanted to achieve and if I have managed it or not. I suppose you could call it an assessment or a review. I gave myself a good score.

Of course there are things that need a bit more tweaking. It will never be perfect (a concept I don’t believe in) but I want to make things the best I want to make them. Not the best they can be or the best I can make them. No, the best I WANT to make them. Usually, CAN and WANT go hand in hand. But sometimes I believe it is better to concentrate on CAN because WANT can easily lead to stress and pressure.

That being said, I have decided to add more posts to my blog that feature other bakers. I have a pile of baking recipe books and a stack of notes/magazine pages/links to other blogs with recipes I want to try but never get round to because of time and because I initially decided to only do my own thing. But now I’ve realised that I need a bit more breathing space in my blog-life. Letting other bakers do some of the work for me every other week will give me that (thank you in advance).

tray of madeleines

French Madeleines

(recipe slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” by Mary Berry)

Makes 30 madeleines

Ingredients:

150g butter

3 eggs

150g sugar

150g flour

1 level tsp baking powder

Method:

1.Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a madeleine tray with butter, then dust with flour and shake off any excess.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and let it cool slightly.

3. In a standmixer with a whisk (or a handmixer) beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. This will take a while (5-1o minutes).

4. Sift in half of the flour and baking powder. Fold it into the mixture.

5. Pour half the butter around the edge of the mixture and fold it in.

6. Sift in the remaining half of the flour and baking powder and fold it in.

7. Pour the remaining butter around the edge and fold it into the mixture.

8. Spoon the mixture into the moulds. You want the top of the mixture to be level with the top of the mould. Depending on how many madeleines your tray makes, you will have to make several batches.

9. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. You are looking for a golden colour and that the madeleine springs back when you touch it.

10. Take the tray out of the oven and carefully ease the madeleines out of the trays. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!