"King for the Day": Galette des Rois
Updated: Jan 1, 2019
In France tradition and food are a winning combination. In January, it results in the Galette des Rois (King Cake”) which is historically served to celebrate Epiphany, the day the three kings are said to have visited the newborn Jesus. Although Epiphany is January 6th, French bakeries and households bake the Galette des Rois for parties throughout January.
It’s called a cake but appears as a round frangipane tart. Flaky puff pastry encases a sweet almond paste filling. Galette des Rois is a dessert and game combined. Inside the cake, the baker hides a small “feve” (bean.) These days, that lowly bean has been replaced with another type of charm, often a small porcelain figure. The guest who finds the “feve” in their slice of cake receives a paper crown, becomes king/queen of the feast, and can name their queen/king.
By the way, if you make a Galette des Rois be sure to warn everyone at the table that there may be something in their slice. Your guests won’t appreciate a cracked crown on their teeth instead of that paper crown!