Galette des Rois or King Cake, is the traditional French cake served on January 6th, the day of Epiphany. Throughout the month of January the bakeries and home kitchens are filled with the aroma of this delicious cake, but specifically on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas, people celebrate the historic arrival of the three Kings, traveling from the East to search for, and finally find baby Jesus.
This 700 year old tradition warrants for a trinket (traditionally a fève or fava bean, or more recently a ceramic surprise) to be hidden inside the creamy almond filling, which is then covered in puff pastry resulting in a light, flaky crust which is finally brushed with a simple Rum syrup. The lucky person who finds the trinket in his or her slice will be then crowned Queen or King for the day and will get to wear a golden crown. How wonderful to discover the traditions of different cultures. Galette des Rois is definitely a perfect dessert to add to the repertoire of any kitchen. Let's get started!
Add the egg and the cream and continue mixing until well amalgamated. Now incorporate the almond flour, as well as the vanilla extract, the almond extract, and the Rum.
Fold in the the already prepared pastry cream - crema pasticcera until smooth. This mixture is called frangipane and will become the filling of the Galette des Rois.
Spoon the frangipane paste into a pastry bag fitted with a 10-mm tip (1/2 inch).
With the help of a ruler mark the parchment paper until you have a disk measuring 20-cm (8 inches) in diameter.
Pipe the paste on the marked parchment paper resting on a baking sheet. Do this in a circular motion and into a tight spiral, starting at the center and working toward the outer edge. Stop piping when the disk is about 20-cm, (8 inches) in diameter.
This is the time when the trinket is pushed and hidden into the frangipane cream. Remember, whoever finds the "treasure" becomes King or Queen for the day.
Now cover with plastic wrap and freeze preferably overnight or until the frangipane is well frozen.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll each sheet of puff pastry, making sure to fit a 23-cm (9 inch) plate on it. The plate will become the template to cut the dough in a perfect round.
Rest the plate on the puff pastry and with the help of a sharp knife cut all around the circumference. Doing this will create a circle measuring 23-cm (9 inches) in diameter.
Transfer the first disk onto the prepared parchment paper making sure the rough side is up. It is on this rough surface where the frangipane will be placed in the center.
Next lightly brush the edges of the puff pastry with water. This will help the sealing of the two sheets of dough.
Take the frangipane out of the freezer and center it on this disk.
Now place the second puff pastry disk, this time rough side down, onto the frangipane and carefully press and seal all around the circumference as shown in the video. Doing this will keep the frangipane from leaking out during baking.
Using the dull edge of the knife, crease and seal the edges as shown in the video.
Carefully flip the galette around and place it once again on the parchment paper.
Prepare the egg wash by mixing the egg yolk with the heavy cream and carefully brush the top of the galette avoiding the sides. Egg wash dripping on the sides will prevent the puff pastry from rising correctly.
Place the galette back into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Once removed brush the top once again with the egg wash.
After finding the center of the pastry, lightly score the surface of the dough running the knife to the very edge of the crust. Do not cut through the dough. Check video tutorial for scoring.
Finally transfer the galette into the 340°F - 170°C preheated Gusto wood-fired oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
While the galette is baking prepare the simple syrup. Bring the water and the sugar to a boil. Once the sugar has completely dissolved remove from the heat source and add the rum. Stir and set aside.
When time is up, remove the galette from the oven and set on a serving dish.
While it is still hot from the oven, gently brush the simple syrup over the surface of the entire galette.
It is ready to be served and best when warm. Enjoy!