Years ago, the mention of crafting a galette des rois evoked a singular image – a circular confection of almond cream encased in puff pastry. Concealed within this delectable treat was a fève, a miniature trinket, and on top a gold crown – typically fashioned out of cardboard. The person who found the fève was honored with the esteemed role of reigning as king or queen for the day.
Today, numerous versions of this traditional cake grace French tables during the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). While the classic almond cream filling endures, modern variations showcase an array of flavors, ranging from orange to chocolate and beyond.
Earlier, we showcased a particular rendition of the galette des rois, and now we introduce a second variation to diversify your culinary repertoire. This version comes from Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer.
Chef Pfeiffer, is a master pastry chef, teacher, and co-founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago. He is also the co-author of the “The Art of French Pastry” cookbook, which was a 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Best Cookbook in the Baking and Dessert category, and the 2014 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Best Cookbook in the Baking category.
In addition, Jacquy was a member of the 1995 (Bronze Medal) and 1997 (Silver Medal) Club Coupe du Monde Team USA.
Here is Jacquy’s version of a galette des rois. This version uses a quick puff pastry, however, if you are ambitious – and have the time – you can make a traditional version.
As a bonus, we are also including Jacquy’s traditional puff pastry recipe from his book. Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer’s all-purpose puff pastry recipe.
Quick Puff Pastry
Puff Pastry Ingredients
|Fine sea salt
Puff Pastry Instructions
Mix together 200g cold water with 2g of white vinegar and 7g of fine sea salt. Place 400g of cold AP flour with 400g of cold butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes in a mixing bowl.
Mix in the water mixture until the dough comes together.
Flour the work surface. Shape the dough into a square and roll it out to three times its length. Fold it as shown in the video and cut each side with a pairing knife. Repeat, roll out, apply a second fold and cut each side.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Apply two additional folds and cuts and refrigerate overnight.
Mark the top with your fingers to remember how many folds you applied.
Galette des Rois – Day Two – Finishing the Puff Pastry
Fabricating & Rolling the Puff Pastry
Similar to day one, roll out the puff pastry dough to three times its length. Apply a fold to the dough and cut the sides. Refrigerate the dough for an hour to allow it to rest.
Repeat the rolling, folding, and cutting process one last time. To keep track of the number of folds, make six indents on the top with your fingers.
Cover the dough and refrigerate it for 4 hours. This will ensure that it’s easy to work with.
After the chilling time, freeze the dough for 30 minutes. This step will make it easier to roll out and cut.
Roll the dough to a thickness of 3/16’’ / 5 mm and cut two rectangles of 10’’ x 13’’. These will be the base and top for our delicious Galette des rois. Cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.
Almond Cream Ingredients
|Unsalted butter, softened
|Fine sea salt
|Sugar in the Raw
|Dark rum (optional)
Almond Cream Instructions
Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.
Grind 150g of whole almonds and 150g of whole hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside.
Mix 125g of soft butter with 1 g of fine sea salt. Mix in 125g of sugar in the raw, 10g of vanilla powder followed by 50g of heavy cream.
Add 125g of whole eggs and 10g of dark rum (optional). Lastly, fold in the nut powder.
Cover and refrigerate overnight for a creamy and delicious almond treat.
Assembling the Galette des Rois
Spread the almond cream in an 8’’ ring, insert a small porcelain figurine in it and freeze it.
Place it on one of the sheets of puff pastry and brush water on the edge of the pastry.
Place the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the disk of almond cream. Press on the edges to seal them.
Cut a round scalloped design with a sharp utility knife. Remove the excess dough and egg wash the surface of the galette. Refrigerate it overnight.
You can decorate the top in a variety of designs, however, there are three that are typically found on top of a galette des rois – an arching scalloped design radiating from the center, a flower or leaf pattern, and a quilt-like diamond-shaped design.
Preparing and Baking the Galette des Rois
Follow these steps to finish this mouthwatering galette:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Egg wash the galette one last time and transfer it from the refrigerator to the freezer for 20 minutes.
Score the galette with a precision utility knife, following the pattern of your choice. Be careful not to cut too deep. Make a small vent in the center.
Bake the galette in a preheated oven at 350°F for 90 minutes.
While the galette is baking, prepare a simple syrup by boiling 135g of sugar with 100g of water.
As soon as the galette comes out of the oven, brush a thin layer of syrup on the surface.
Allow the galette to cool and decorate it with a caramelized hazelnut.