Galette De Rois is a classic French treat that is enjoyed on The Twelfth Night (Epiphany). With its buttery, flaky pastry and a delicious almond frangipane filling, this elegant dessert is quick and easy to make with ready-made puff pastry.
Happy New Year! If you’re looking for diet recipes, I’m afraid you won’t find them here. I don’t believe in restricting yourself during what is considered to be the most miserable month of the year.
It’s freezing outside, everything is a bit flat after Christmas and New Year and it seems like an eternity until Spring. This is not the time for cutting this and that out of our diets. Everything in moderation is my motto. If you absolutely must due to health reasons, then that’s a completely different story. But I believe this time of the year calls for a little comfort food.
Galette des Rois, or King cake, is traditionally eaten in France on the Twelfth night, the 6th of January to mark Epiphany, the Night the Three Kings visited the baby Jesus.
Epiphany is not celebrated in the UK, but it’s a public holiday in France and many other European countries.
Galette De Rois can be found in French bakeries and patisseries during the festive season, but if like me, a French bakery is totally out of your reach, they can easily be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.
The Galettes are usually sold with a gold paper crown. A trinket is placed inside the pie. However finds the trinket is “crowned” King or Queen for the day.
A delicious almond frangipane lies between the layers of flaky, buttery pastry. I like to add some orange zest, but you can leave it plain if you like. I always add a splash of brandy or rum, again this is optional.
I’m crazy for anything almond, (if you ever want to distract me just whisper “almond croissant” in my ear) so I boost the flavour with a good quality almond extract. My favourite brand is Nielsen-Massey.
how to make a galette de rois
Scroll to the end of this post to find printable recipe card with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
Step one – Make the almond Frangipane by creaming soft butter and caster sugar together until very soft and pale.
Beat in two eggs, ground almonds, the finely grated zest of an orange (you can omit this if you wish), almond extract and a splash of brandy or rum. Mix to a smooth paste.
Step two – Prepare the pastry. I used two sheets of ready rolled all butter puff pastry. Annoyingly, I had to buy two 320g packets and ended up with quite a bit of leftover pastry. But I ended up making sausage rolls with the excess, so my boys were happy.
Using the sheets of ready rolled pastry makes making the galette nice and simple, but you could of course use a block of pastry instead.
Using the base of a 20cm cake tin or a plate, cut out a circle of pastry and place on a lined baking tray. Now repeat this step, but make the second circle a little bit larger. I went with 22cm.
Step three – Place the Frangipane on top, leaving a 3-4cm border around the edge. If you’re adding a trinket, now is the time to choose your hiding place.
Step four – Brush the edge of the pastry circle with egg wash. Place the second circle of pastry on top and press the edges down to seal.
Crimp the edge with a fork or use your thumb and forefinger, making sure the edges are properly sealed so the filling doesn’t leak out. Using a sharp knife, score the top in a decorative fashion.
Step five – If you have time, place the Galette in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking. You can also freeze it for 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/180F.
Step six – brush the Galette with egg wash, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until very golden brown.
Let the Galette sit for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. It can be eaten warm or cold. Don’t forget to tell your family/friends to watch out for the charm in their slice!
recipe tips and variations
- Use the best quality puff pastry you can find – preferably all butter puff pastry.
- Use any leftover pastry to make puff pastry sausage rolls
- A layer of jam is a delicious addition – add it before the almond filling. Apricot, raspberry or blackberry jam would be a good pairing with the frangipane.
- You could also add a layer of fruit – a follower on my Facebook page recently commented that she adds vanilla poached pears. I LOVE this idea!
Any leftover Galette can be kept at room temperature for 1-2 days on a plate, covered with a tea towel or a piece of tin foil. It can also be refrigerated, but the moisture from the fridge can turn the pastry ever so slightly soggy. Galette des Rois is best eaten within a couple of days.
More classic french recipes
- 120g soft unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- zest of one orange (optional)
- 120g ground almonds
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons brandy, rum or cognac
- 2 sheets ready made puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg, to glaze
- Cream together the soft butter, caster sugar and orange zest (if using) together until very pale and light. This is best done using an electric mixer, but you can use a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease. Add the ground almonds, eggs, almond extract and brandy or rum. Mix well until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Unroll one pastry sheet. Using a 20cm cake tin base or plate, cut out a circle of pastry. Repeat with the second sheet using a 22cm cake tin or plate.
- Place one of the pastry circles on a piece of baking parchment on a large baking tray.
- Spread the frangipane in a circle in the middle, leaving a 3-4 cm border all around the edge. If you're adding a trinket or feve, do it now.
- Brush the edges with a little beaten egg, then cover with the second piece of pastry on top. Seal the edges with a fork or your finger, making sure the pastry circles are well adhered to prevent any of the filling from leaking out.
- Using a sharp knife, score a pattern on the top. Place the Galette in the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/180Fan/390F.
- Brush the Galette with beaten egg and bake for 30-35 minutes or until very golden brown.
- Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Use any leftover pastry scraps to make cinnamon twists or sausage rolls.
Adding a layer of jam adds an extra layer of flavour and sweetness. Apricot, blackberry or raspberry work really well with the frangipane. You can also add sliced soft fruit, such as poached pears (thank you, Frances for that lovely idea)
If preferred, you can omit the alcohol.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 5g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.