Thursday, January 07, 2016

Cake of kings

Well, maybe not. But it is a king cake. The word "cake" is not accurate. It's really a pastry called une galette in French. The dictionary describes a galette as a flat, round, flour/starch based cake or crepe. The word comes from galet, meaning a rounded stone polished smooth by waves or running water.

The finished galette. It rose nicely.

I made the puff pastry on Tuesday by wrapping a flattened block of butter inside a simple dough made with flour, water, and salt. The dough block then got folded over itself six or eight times, with half-hour rests in between each fold. The folding creates thin layers of flour and butter that, when baked, rise into a flaky pastry. I rolled the finished dough and cut two disks. I spread an almond frangipane (a mixture of ground almonds, butter, and an egg) in the middle of one disk, topped that with some blueberries, added the little ceramic fève (prize) and covered it all with the second disk, sealing the edges with an egg wash. Finally, I made designs on the top with a knife and brushed on the remaining egg wash before baking it in a hot oven.

We each had a slice yesterday evening, but neither of us found the prize in our piece. Maybe today when we have more. I'll try to take a photo of the sliced cake later so you can see what it looks like inside.


  1. My mum used to make puff pastry...
    But she always started with a block of pre-made pastry, roll it out....
    then wrap the block of butter!!
    Ten times she rolled...her vol-au-vents were 3" high...
    I have tried and tried...
    Half-an-inch if lucky...but your galettes always look fab!

  2. Well it certainly looks like the king of cakes to me... make that galettes. It looks perfectly baked... and photographed.

  3. Perfect! The blueberries must have added an extra-delicious touch. Looking forward to seeing the sliced piece-- you know I'll be showing it to my students :)

  4. Like Judith I am looking forward to seeing the sliced piece of king cake. I made puff time only,

  5. Do you 'cheat' and mark the galette pre baked as to where the 'bean' is? In our village we will eat galettes and there is no chance of makeing sure that the kids (or me) get the favour and get to wear the crown. Lesley

  6. Fit for a king for sure - that is a lovely galette.

  7. now I have known whtat the cake of Kings look

  8. I wanna piece please (holds out plate)...

  9. neat!
    It also makes me wonder what defines a cake now.

  10. I envy your pastry skills. You are such a great pastry chef.

  11. tim, I've never made vol-au-vents. I'll have to try that!

    jaqueline, thanks!

    stuart, :) Do you or your wife dabble in the puff pastry thing?

    judy, it's coming. Your students need to taste one. Easier said than done, eh?

    evelyn, only one time? It does take some time, that's for sure.

    potty, no, no cheating here. I made Ken cut the cake so I wouldn't be accused of cheating!

    wilma, thanks!

    gosia, now you have to taste one!

    anne marie, if only I could!

    michael, it's shaped like a cake, but it's more like a round croissant. ;)

    madonna/ms. lemon, I don't know about that, but I have my moments. :)

  12. Oh yum! I am not sure I will get any galette this year. Still no kitchen, and the local bakery that used to make them closed down last year. Oh well, I get to see your, and salivate.


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