Sunday, February 12, 2012

Galette des Rois/ King Cake

Cider, galette des rois and paper crown for the king/queen.
I have never heard of the French King Cake tradition until I came to France and was introduced to it in my French class.  I'm glad I was warned about it, as I don't think anyone from my family would enjoy biting into a porcelain doll unknowingly and breaking their teeth off :)  The French King Cake celebrates the Epiphany holiday (January 6th) in honor of the Feast of the Three Kings.  The cake is made of puffed layered pastry with rich "frangipane" almond filling and is sold/consumed for the whole month of January.  In France, it's customary to nestle la fève, inside the filling and crown the finder as the "king" or "queen" of the day.   La ve refers to a "broad bean" which is what used to be placed in the cake, but it has been later replaced by a thematic and collectible trinket/figurine.  These figurines are made of porcelain or plastic and the price of the cake ranges based on the value of these figurines and the size/quality of the cake.

Plastic queen trinket left; porcelain "king" trinket right.
You will definitely get a higher quality cake from a local boulangerie than at the super market.  The galette I purchased came with two paper crowns which made me think there are probably two trinkets inside for the king and the queen.  That's awesome I thought - two crowns = two kids.  But figuring out where the trinkets are without mutilating the cake is no easy task.  Tommy was discouraged that he won't get one for sure since he's never lucky.  But when I was cutting up the cake I cut into one trinket, so I saved the piece for Tommy.  Anna of course got upset that she did not get the trinket, so I stealthily washed off Tommy's porcelain doll and stuck it in her piece.  Then finally Jakub bit into the second trinket which was a plastic doll.  So at the end of the day Anna and Tommy were happy to each get crowned, Jakub was also noble, and I was left as the only unworthy member of the family. :D

We had the cake again when our friend Blanka came over.  Same deal but three kids, but we figured it out at the end and with lots of extra crowns from the previous cake, the kids were happy.

The three kings; Anna, Tommy and Annabelle (Anna's friend)

No comments:

Post a Comment