Galette des rois

La galette des rois et sa couronne This year I seem to be getting more than my fair share of Galettes des rois.

It is officially eaten at Epiphany (around 6th January) but CC and I were invited for coffee at a neighbour’s house the Sunday before last and we were treated to her homemade version of the cake served with champagne before we got round to having the coffee!

Yesterday at the library the English classes, always ready for an excuse to party, suggested we had Galette des Rois next week, –  naturally accompanied by several bottles of champagne. It was decided who should bring what and I proposed starting the 5 o’clock class at 4.30 so that we could have  half an hour to indulge before the 6 0’clock  class began.

As it happened one of the ladies from the second group had  brought a Galette anyway so we ate that during the lesson.

Since Christian times the custom has been linked to the visit of the Magi and traditionally the cake is cut into the same number of pieces as there are people . A charm is hidden in the cake and whoever  gets it wears the King’s crown and chooses their Queen. If there are children involved the youngest gets under the table and says who should receive each piece.

In fact, like many Christian customs, the Galette des Rois has it’s origin in pagan rituals connected to Dionysus and the midwinter festivities.

The basic recipe  consists of puff pastry with a frangipane filling but there are other varieties made with brioche and alternative  fillings including chocolate, coconut, apples etc.

So much for starting a diet after Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . .

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4 Responses to “Galette des rois”

  1. Z Says:

    I reckon the diet can’t stop until the Christmas food is finished. We’ve still got more than half the Christmas cake and two boxes of chocolates to go.

  2. sablonneuse Says:

    We decided not to make a cake this year as it usually diesn’t get started until the new year and lasts for ages. As for chicolates I think french people try to give their left over boxes of chocs away!

  3. Keith Says:

    Tonight I made a Galette de Bretagne, what they refer to as a “galette complete”. It is a savoury pancake made with farine de sarrisan and filled with cheese, ham and egg. I reckon to make at least one a week. I bought a crepe machine when in France once, and it took me a long time to master the art of spinning the batter on it! My galette machine is this one:

  4. sablonneuse Says:

    Hi Keith, I admire your ability to make the galette but also the fact that you could put this video into the comments!

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