French Corner: Galette des Rois recipe (January 2016)

Welcome to the "French Corner", the Consulate’s monthly rendez-vous dedicated to the promotion of France’s culture and patrimony, in video! This month, discover our Epiphany recipe: the Galette des Rois (king’s cake), presented by Frédéric Robert, owner and Executive Pastry Chef & Hana Quon, Pastry Chef & general manager, at Café Madeleine, Boston.

The Galette des Rois is a traditional French pastry for celebrating Epiphany, a celebration of the coming of the 3 Kings to see infant Jesus. The day of Epiphany is January 6th, but the French like to celebrate for the whole month of January and shops in France carry the Galette des Rois for the whole month. It is a simple pastry, made from two layers of puff pastry dough with frangipane inside. There is a feve or tcreamic charm hidden inside and whoever finds it gets to wear a crown for the day (usually provided with the galette) and is also responsible for buying next year’s galette (a tradition way less respected nowadays!).

Cooks, you will find below the recipe. For the others, you can taste it directly at
Cafe Madeleine
517 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118, or order it: (857) 239-8052

How to Make a Galette de Rois

Ingredients (1 Galette de Rois for 10 people)

  • Puff Pastry Dough (detrempe)
    280 g all purpose flour
    12 g salt
    14 cL water
    15 g butter, melted

Butter for folding with the dough (le beurre de tourage): 400 g high fat European style butter

  • Frangipane
    200 g butter, soft
    200 g confectioner’s sugar
    200 g almond flour
    15 g all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 large eggs


  • Day 1 – Making the Dough
    Puff pastry dough is very simple, it is mostly flour with a little water, butter, and salt. After you make the dough, it is important to rest it overnight in the refrigerator to let it relax.
  • Day 2 – Folding the dough with butter
    Puff pastry dough traditionally is folded with butter 6 times. First we make 2 double turns which equals 4 times. Then we rest it overnight.
  • Day 3 – Folding the dough with butter
    Now we make one more double turn which completes the last of the 6 turns. Then we rest it overnight again.
  • Day 4 – Sheeting the puff pastry dough
    Now that we have a completed puff pastry dough with many many layers, we can roll it very thin, about 3 mm thick. We let this rest overnight as well.
  • Day 5 – Circles
    Now it is time to cut the circles of dough for the Galette out of the thinly sheeted dough. It is important that the dough is very chilled so the knife does not press the layers (feuittage) together as it cuts through the dough. Rest the circles overnight.
  • Day 6 – Making the Galette
    You start with one circle of puff pastry dough and pipe the frangipane very carefully on top. Frangipane is a rich almond cream that is very traditional for galette. Some bakeries also have different versions with hazelnut cream or pistachio cream. Don’t forget to place the feve inside. Seal the galette with another puff pastry circle. Rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Flip the galette over. Brush the top with yolks so that it will have a shiny golden exterior. Then make the traditional design on top with a very sharp knife. Bake at a high temperature so the galette will puff up nicely. Right before you remove it from the oven, glaze the top with syrup so that it will caramelize.

Bon apétit!

Last modified on 12/02/2016

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