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A former middle school principal, I am blissfully enjoying retirement with the Headmaster! Thank you for visiting, commenting, and following!

26 January 2013

Hail To the King -- Cake!



Many of you are familiar with the usual King Cake found in grocery stores all over the south at this time of year.  Traditionally, these cakes come out on Twelfth Night and are eaten all during the Mardi Gras season (or until they are gone from the shelves!).  Every grocery store, discount store, drug store, bakery, etc., have them for sale, and they are available for shipment all over the world.  Fillings for these involve a myriad of ingredients, including, but never limited to cinnamon, cream cheese, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, name a berry, name a confection, etc., etc.!  and of course, a plastic pink baby is (most) always hidden inside; the person who finds the baby usually brings the next cake to the next party!  It's a fun tradition!

Usually, these are just plain too sweet for me.  I prefer the 'authentic' French Galette des Rois, made with puff pastry and filled with an almond paste kind of affair.  I made one last year and am delighted to say that I had a great measure of success, even though I do not bake.  So if I can do this, anyone can!  Of course, you can play with the filling to suit your taste; puff pastry is good with ANYTHING in the center!

If you feel adventurous and wish to try one for yourself, here's one of several recipes available: 


Galette des rois
Makes 8 servings.
2/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup ground almonds 2 eggs + 1 egg for painting 1 tablespoon rum (optional) 1 pound puff pastry (2 rounds) 1 large dry bean or fève figurine
In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg.
To make the frangipane, blend the butter with the sugar until well combined. Blend in the almonds thoroughly. Beat in the 2 eggs one at a time and then the rum if you are using it.
Roll out half of the puff pastry into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Place it on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, paint the outer 1 1/2 inch circumference of the pastry with beaten egg.
Spread the frangipane in a round in the center of the pastry so that it just meets the painted on egg. Press the bean into the frangipane somewhere close to the outer edge.
Place the other puff pastry (rolled out into an equally sized round) on top of the first. Use the times of a fork to press the edges closed. Brush the top of the galette with the beaten egg.
Use a paring knife to etch a pretty pattern into the top of the galette. Traditionally this is in a cross-hatch pattern, or concentric half circles, but you can make up your own pattern if you are feeling creative. Don't cut through the pastry, just etch.
Cut a small hole in the center of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Place the galette in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before baking. You can make it a day in advance as well - just be sure to keep it refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the refrigerated galette in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is dark golden brown. Serve warm.
Easy French Food http://easy-french-food.com

Bon appetite and laissez les bon temps rouler, y'all!



33 comments:

  1. Hello Nancy, it looks beautiful and sounds marvelous! I'd love to give this a try,
    I hope you have a blessed weekend,
    Kathy

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    1. Hi, Kathy! I promise you, it's not difficult AT ALL! If you are a baker, I'm sure you could think up some other good fillings to go in the pastry!
      Enjoy!
      ~N

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  2. hi Nancy, I recently did a post on King Cake also, my recipe uses crescent roll dough, cinnamon and pecans, it is easy and yummy, but yours sounds divine! You had me at almond paste. I am going to try your version this week! Thanks for sharing!
    Happy Mardi Gras!
    Jenna

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    1. Jenna: I believe I DID see your post. There are soooo many ways to make these things! Please let me know how yours turns out!
      ~N

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  3. What an impressive Mardi Gras pastry, Nancy!

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    1. Thanks, Kitty! It's really quite easy to make!
      ~N

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  4. My gosh- That sounds wonderful, Nancy. I might just give that a try. I do think the traditional King's Cake might be too sweet for me, too. Hope you are enjoying your weather- it is still cold in Algoma- I was there yesterday- xo Diana

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    1. The thing is working now; go figure! Anyway....if you try it, let me know how it came out. I hear there are warm temps for tomorrow, to be closely followed by a foot of snow!!!!!!! WOW!!!! Y'all hang in there!
      ~N

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  5. Your Galette looks delicious. I'm afraid the technicolour version would put me off, but puff pastry and almond paste are winners!

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    1. Pondside, the technicolor version is what you usually get in the stores and bakeries. Just colored sugar; but waaaaay too sweet for me!
      ~N

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  6. I agree with Pondside above, the multi-colored example does not look edible - resembles a caterpillar. Your galette sounds delicious and the example looks so elegant. Thanks for telling how to make almond paste.

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    1. Donna, I could simply eat the puff pastry all by itself!!!! :)
      ~N

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  7. Seeing King Cakes in the grocery stores and bakeries this time of year. I've never made one. Your galette looks delicious.

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  8. Clever girl! I am not sure that I would have the nerve to try it, but I do love puff pastry, so.... Thanks for trying to encourage us to do it ourselves and not just run to the store for everything!

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    1. Diane: let me assure you that if I can do this, anyone can! And...you can play with the filling to your liking! Thank goodness for puff pastry!!!
      ~N

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  9. Well this is a new twist! Looks delicious! I may have to just give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Tammy, if I can do it, I assure you that YOU can! Let me know!
      ~N

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  10. I have never had a king cake, but they look amazing and I have been dying to make one. Yours sounds delicious!

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  11. I love the colors of a traditional cake but think it might be too sweet. I like your version with the puff pastry and frangipane. Have to try it. xo

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    1. Barbara, as I told Donna above, I could just eat the puff pastry by itself! You can also play with the filling!
      ~N

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  12. Your sounds delightful!

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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    1. Thanks, Susan and Bentley! You would love this; so easy!
      ~N

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  13. Yours is beautiful! Never heard of a King's Cake til a couple of years ago. I do like sweet, and don't mind supersweet, but especially compared to your confection, the King's Cake looks....gaudy.

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    1. Dearest Carol: Mardi Gras = GAUDY!!!! I was just having this conversation with my sweet neighbor this aft, and we agreed that you can't be too gaudy during the Carnival season!
      However, with that being said, I so agree with you that the 'traditional' King Cake can't hold a candle to the REAL puff pastry confection! So...that's what we're having! Probably taking one to a Super Bowl party this weekend!
      I thank you so much for visiting and commenting!
      ~N

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  15. Nancy, I did puff pastry tonight too, but mine is stuffed with mustard and cheeses. It's the best way to make a truly impressive baked item, and I'm not a baker either! i am enjoying seeing the Kings Cakes on blogs. I don't think I've seen them up here --too much celebration for New England Yankees. :) Linda

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    1. Ooh...mustard and cheeses; that sounds just FABULOUS!
      Make a king cake; you can put anything in the filling!!!! Happy Mardi Gras to the New England Yankees!!!
      ~N

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