Was two years ago?
Sorry folks. It's been a bit tough finding the time to bake and document said baking with all the trials and tribulations over the last two years. But I hope to change that now that I'm living a bit more comfortably and without bug infestations and a terrible soul-sucking job. I know. Excuses, excuses.
Anyway. A few weeks ago my friend and I decided to bake a Galette des Rois (King's Cake in English) for fun. It's actually a great little pastry to make that has some very simple steps. Although, there are many of these simple steps, which made it a little complicated in the kitchen. So complicated, in fact that I got a bit distracted and forgot to take a full set of photos. Oops.
So, what is a Galette des Rois? Essentially it's a layer of frangipane (a sweet almond paste with bits of almond still visible... at least when I make it) covered with puff pastry and baked. Yum.
What's more interesting about it for my non-religious self is that it's a religiously themed pastry taking its name from the biblical three kings. It's baked to celebrate Epiphany (January 6th). Also known as the twelfth night of Christmas (Yep. Think of the song.). Or, in Catholic liturgy, the magi coming to visit Jesus as an infant (Sorry, I refuse to say The Baby Jesus in my prose or verbally because it's just silly).
The tradition goes: when you make this French confection, you are supposed place a trinket inside the pastry before you bake it. This can be a plastic baby symbolizing Jesus (putting plastic in the oven sorta wigs me out), a porcelain "bean," or in my case an actual dried Lima bean since I didn't have either of the other items). The person who gets the piece of the cake with the trinket gets to be king or queen for the day, which comes with a whole host of obvious privileges.
Well, we ate this delicious cake? hot out of the oven (slightly cooled so we didn't burn our faces off) and my friend fittingly got the slice with the bean, effectively making him king for the rest of the evening. Which really isn't that much different than the norm.
The name of the cookbook where we got the recipe is called Homemade Winter: http://www.amazon.com/Home-Made-Winter-Yvette-Boven/dp/161769004X
I HAVE to make the cover recipe. It looks delicious. Follow up post?
Also, feel free to learn more about the Galette des Rois here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake
My icing: Religious to Damn - Sunset