Friday, January 11, 2008

Galette des Rois

This year I invited all my French friends for the famous galette des Rois.
Again made from scratch I baked the " Frangipane" or " la Parisienne" or" Pithiviers cake" made with Californian Almonds. And I made the one " briochee".
Both were delicious, even if the one briochee a little dry.
The " crown/ couronne" was made my my niece Chloe. The " feve" hidden inside was an almond!

California Almonds for French Sweet Desserts
Do you know that almonds are California's largest tree nut crop in total dollar value and acreage? They are one of the largest U.S. horticultural export. About 6,000 almond growers produce nearly 100 percent of the commercial domestic and supply more than 80 percent of worldwide production. More than 80 countries import California almonds : Spain is the largest market for almonds. Other major importers include Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, China.
Yes, in France we use a lot of Almonds in desserts and one of the most delightful and magical dessert is the Galette des Rois or Kings’ cake served on the celebration on January 6th or Epiphany, or twelfth night, the celebration of the arrival of the magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, before the newborn Jesus .
Friends, family and coworkers are gathering together every year for this strong tradition served with white wine or hard apple cider.

Pithiviers Cake
Serve 6


100 g/4 oz/1 cup ground California
100 g/4 oz superfine sugar
40 g/3 tbsp real sweet ( unsalted) butter, softened
2 egg yolks
225 g/8 oz puff pastry (paste), thawed if frozen
1 egg, beaten
Icing (confectioners') sugar, for dusting

Beat together the ground almonds, the sugar, butter, egg yolks. Cut off a third of the puff pastry. Roll out to a round about 18 cm/7 in and place on baking cookie sheet. Roll out the larger piece of pastry to a round the same size, but twice as thick. Spread the almond paste in the centre of the thinner pastry round on the baking sheet. Brush all round the edge with water. Place the second piece of pastry on top. Brush with beaten egg to glaze and score the top with the back of a knife in a cross pattern. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust the top with icing sugar. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until caramelized. This can be served warm or cold.

Note: Kids love this cake first for the fun tradition of finding the “ feve” inside the cake and becoming the King or Queen for the day, and then they love the sweet taste of it.


Valérie said...

Thanks for this recipe!

I'd like to know if you find ground almonds in California or if you have to grind them yourselves.

Also, what brands of puff pastry do you recommend?

I am French and new to California, and I love "Galette des Rois".

Celine's Cuisine said...

Valerie, you can find ground almonds at Trader Joe's one of the most treasure in Southern California!