Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Galette des Rois/ Twelfth Night Cake

 This is the frangipan pastry cake I mentioned yesterday, wherein a bean lies hidden, to be discovered by one lucky person who received it in their slice, and then gets to be king for the day, and can boss everyone about rather tiresomely for the rest of the day.
I haven't made this cake before, although I've always known about it, because frankly I thought it looked a bit dull and boring. Compared with a spectacular chocolate fudge cake, or mountainous pavlova it would certainly seem a bit of an also ran, but do not be deceived by appearances (as I was). This really is a very good result from a small amount of effort.
Ingredients
Because its ungilded beauty relies entirely on the quality of the ingredients, I would suggest you use the best you can find. And if you're a regular reader you may have noticed  that I'm not one to splash out on unnecessary luxury ingredients where they aren't really warranted. I put it down to my Yorkshire upbringing. But in dishes like this you'll really notice the difference. This is my slightly tweaked version of Mary Cadogan's recipe

You will need
1 400 gr pack of all butter puff pastry
2 good tablespoons of your best homemade raspberry jam
100 gr/4oz butter at room temperature
100gr/4oz caster sugar
100gr/4oz ground almonds
1 egg
2 tablespoons vanilla infused rum, or just rum
1 large dried bean such as a butter bean

Roll out the puff pastry and cut out two 9inch, 23 cm circles.Cut a narrow strip from the leftover pastry to fit all around the pastry circle which will give you a lip so that you can get more filling in. Stick it on with water. This is optional if you're in a rush.

Cream the butter and sugar til light, beat in the egg, then stir in the ground almonds and rum.

Spread the jam on  the pastry circle. Top the jam with the almond mixture. Remember to hide your bean in the mixture.**

Brush the border with water, top with the second circle and seal. You can decorate the top with a knife blade -spokes like a pinwheel are traditional, if you wish.

Brush with beaten egg and bake in moderate oven for 25 -30 minutes until golden brown.

Like most puff pastry items, at it's best served slightly warm.


**There are many ancient traditions connected with Twelfth Night, some of recent christian origin and some of older Pagan and Roman and Viking origin, and are often connected with riotous behavior and the idea of turning things upside down. The idea with the bean is the person who gets it in their slice becomes the King of Misrule, whereby peasants become rulers and rulers become slaves, (just for the day of course, it's not the Peasants' Revolt) so an excellent cake for socialists who will enjoy for once, both having their cake and eating it. Not many cakes have a political stance. There are many versions of the cake, some entailing a small ceramic figure being hidden, but a bean sounds less dangerous and the price of dentistry being what it is.....

And finally, as to the date, we have always insisted on regarding tomorrow, January 6th as Twelfth Night, despite the Church of England's pronouncement that it's the 5th.  There are good ancient traditions supporting the 6th, and anyway it's my daughter's birthday, so we always kept the decorations up for her, and had the riotous children's party in appropriate surroundings, and then swept up the whole shebang in one massive clear up!
Happy Birthday for tomorrow Sarah. And play nicely.

4 comments:

  1. I do love your posts! That cake sounds quite good, actually, I love raspberry anything :-)

    Happy Birthday tomorrow - to Sarah!

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  2. It sounds a bit like Bakewell pudding with the almonds and raspberry jam. I spent years not really knowing whether Twelfth Night was the 5th or 6th of January but finally settled on the 6th - not that it actually figures very largely on my calendar I must confess.

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  3. I think I will try this recipe .. as we are celebrating tomorrow as well for the Twelfth Night .. a first for us in a long while .. Happy birthday to your daughter.

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