January 6th we celebrate Epiphany Day with la Galette des Rois /King Cake Day celebrated all over France reminiscent of the biblical tradition of the 3 wise men’s journey bearing gifts after the birth of Jesus. The tradition says that should you get the fève or bean hidden in the galette at the Tirage des Rois, you shall be crowned king or queen for the day. Custom has it that the youngest child hides under the table and chooses which piece of galette each guest receives.
My favorite is la Galette à la frangipane ( tastes a lot like my other favorite almond cake le pithiviers). I enjoyed making my own and will post a very easy recipe should you be so inclined to bake your own buttery and flaky galette or try a new galette from your French bakery. (Here are my Top French bakeries in Los Angeles and Top French Bakeries in Dallas)
In the North of France like Normandie, Galette is made of pâte feuilleté, puff pastry, and stuffed with a dense, creamy almond cream and crème pâtissière called frangipane . (personally, I prefer “crème d’amandes or pâte d’amandes” which is just blanched almonds in powder, butter, sugar & eggs)
In the south of France, you’ll be eating a brioche-style cake covered with candied fruits called Gateau des Rois.
This is Mom’s galette
And last year I made a HUGE one ( more like two in one and since it was like my second time making it I overstuffed it with almond paste which in fact is not really a galette but a Pithivier cake from the Center of France… now I know a little goes a long way… will post a good recipe)
The traditional fèves ( the trinket, figurine or bean inside the galette) in France is impossible to accidentally swallow! There’s a new theme out each year ( one year there was even a Coca Cola theme or Disneyland!) These little figurines are becoming quite collectibles.
Did you know that collecting these fèves is called: Favophilie!
This is my favorite time of year and we anxiously await la galette each year.
Bonne Fête des Rois!