Galette des Rois and the big mess in the oven

Not bad for a first try on the Galette des rois


French pastry shops fill their windows with Buche de noel during the month of December. As the month winds downs the shops sell out the cakes, they fill their shelves with the Galette des Rois. Better known as King Cake, Epiphany Cake. Call it what you like, I call it delicious.

The Epiphany is January 6th this is the day the 3 Wise men appeared bearing gifts for the new born king.

The cake is quite simple. Puff pastry, almond flour sugar and simple spices and flavoring make up the cake. According to tradition a feve or small bean is inserted in the cake. The lucky person that finds the bean is the king or queen for the day! Count yourself if you don’t break your tooth on the bean.

Ready to seal up the almond filling
Ready for the oven

I had all the ingredients leftover from all the holiday baking, so I figured it looks easy enough. The filling comes together in one bowl. I only had natural almond flour, so my batter was a little on the dark side.

I used David Lebovitz’s recipe which will be the go-to from now on. I followed the directions. I rolled out the dough, filled it, and then sealed it just like the pictures. I put the egg wash on top and created a simple pattern. Placed it the oven and walked away.

15 minutes later the delicate smell of something burning wafted from the kitchen. It was filled smoke. I sprang to the window and door to alleviate the smoke and not set off the smoke alarm. No dog or family members wants to hear that high pitch tone.  Fanning the smoke from my face I opened the oven to the cloud of burnt filling. I guess I didn’t do a great job of sealing it after all. The filling had spilled over the cookie sheet and on the bottom of the oven.  Crispy and jet black from the heat the burnt mess was still smoking by the time the timer buzzed.

Big spill but still tasty 

I took what was left out of the oven. Mess or no mess it came out. My goodness the top was a perfect color and the pastry had risen well. It deflates as it cools. And the spillage? It did not go to waste we ate it any way. It was an over baked almond cookie. Yes, that’s what we told ourselves.   


So next year when I attempt this again, I will make sure the sides are really, really sealed!     

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