King Cake For Epiphany
It’s an all day recipe, but it makes enough pastry and filling to freeze for later use.
DOING IT THE HARD WAY.
Today, for the Feast of the Epiphany, I’m going to make a Gallette de Rois (King Cake). I’ll be using my vintage copy of Larousse Gastronomique for the puff paste recipe.
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ONE
Step One Completed: mix 3 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup water. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rest 25 minutes (while I start packing up the Creche and some of the Santas).
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TWO
Roll the dough into a large even rectangle. Place the pound (yes, pound!) of softened butter in the center. Fold to enclose. Chill for 30 minutes. (The recipe calls for a 10 minute chill, but I know from experience that’s for a French kitchen, not an American one, especially not in Chattanooga!)
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEPS THREE TO EIGHT
This step is repeated six times with a 30 minute rest between steps. A good time to read a book or catch up on the laundry. Roll dough into a long rectangle. Fold in thirds onto itself. Turn folded side down and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat for six turns.
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP NINE
Make and chill the filling. You’ll need 3/4 cup almond meal ( I ground my own in the food processor.) 6 tbsp softened butter. 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. 2 eggs (reserve one of the yolks for the glaze. 2 tsp corn starch. 1 tsp.vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill for one hour. Keep the remaining egg yolk in the fridge till needed.
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP TEN
Roll out 1/4 of the puff paste to make two circles. (Freeze the rest for another time). Spread about 1/2 of the filling to within an inch of one circle. (Freeze the rest of the filling for later use.) Moisten the edge. Place second circle on top. Press edge to seal. Using the back of a spoon, scallop the edge. Refrigerate one hour.
KING CAKE FOR EPIPHANY: STEP ELEVEN
Preheat oven to 375. Remove cake from refrigerator. Combine reserved egg yolk with a tsp milk. Brush this mixture over the top but do not let it drip over the edge. Use a knife to lightly score a decorative design. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
And 9 hours later: C’est Fini