Cake · Pastry

Galette Des Rois

Pockets are just the best! In my dresses, jackets, pastries . . . especially when the pastry pocket is full of decadent rum frangipane. # 108: Galette Des Rois

How is it already January 10th? Double digits came way too quickly this month! I managed to replace my calendars this weekend (as long as it’s within the first week of the new year, you’re not late right? Why do I feel so beholden to these unspoken calendar rules?)

I usually hang a food-related one in the pantry and this year the theme is *drum roll please* the Great British Bake Off! It has a new recipe for each month, so naturally I’ll be making each month’s recipe and posting about it. It’s even got the cute little flags along the top of each picture like the ones they hang in the tent! Such a good calendar find.

A galette des rois is a traditional treat served on Epiphany. The name appropriately translates to “king’s cake.” The term “cake” technically works, but the definition that hits closer to the mark is “a flat, round pastry.” It’s a fluffy layer of puff pastry, wrapped around a creamy frangipane filling.

Frangipane is that delightful almond custard that hides in British and French pastries. I had never heard of it before watching the GBBO, had you? It’s not a commonly used custard in America, but it definitely should be! Almond flavor is subtle but satisfying. Plus, it plays well with others; in this case, rum and vanilla are it delicious partners in crime.

First step to this filling: pastry cream. My former baking nemesis is now one of my fave ingredients! I’m a custard fiend so I’m so glad I’m now able to make this luscious pudding without fear. Some recipes don’t call for cornstarch, but it helps give the cream some structural integrity.

Cornstarch’s magic thickening abilities only come out if it’s heated past 200F, hence why you cook the pastry cream for another minute or two after mixing the scalding milk with the egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch slurry. It still seems like a magic trick to me every time I make it!

Side note: you always want to cover it with plastic wrap when you cool it in the fridge so it doesn’t form a skin on top. Not just plastic wrap on top of the bowl, but touching the surface of the cream. It looks a little weird but it works! Ain’t nobody got time for coagulating proteins.

Once the pastry cream is chillin’ in the fridge, start on your rum butter. You want it whipped to a fluffy cloud before you mix in the sugar and rum.

The almond flour adds in a ever-so-slightly gritty texture which makes it . . . wait for it . . . toothsome. I’ve been waiting to use this word but with it’s definition of “temptingly tasty” I think this is the perfect moment.

As you can tell from the lighting of the photos, this was an after-work bake. So forgive me the use of pre-made puff pastry dough. I really prefer to make my own rough puff but sometimes time isn’t on my side.

After thawing, I rolled it out until it was bigger than a dinner plate. The scraps from trimming it down to a circle are perfect for a little mid-bake snack: wrap a chocolate bar in the bits of extra dough, egg wash it and bake at 425F for 20 or so minutes (or probably a little lower temperature for slightly longer – this was just the temperature I had the oven already at for the galette!)

Rounds of pastry, ready for action.

Frangipane added with a flourish! Plus a cashew for a lucky person to find in their slice and become king for the day. Who knew cashews could appoint monarchs?

Looks like a giant ravioli. I egg-washed it and delicately scored it in a diamond pattern that didn’t show up very well after baking. Next time, I’ll do slightly more scoring for decoration.

Happy munching! May the best king among us find the cashew.

Recipe from: The GBBO calendar! But also here.

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