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Feasting on galettes des rois

January can only mean one thing in our household – it’s open season for galette des rois! It seems the limited time availability only fueled my hunger for more, so this addiction is unlikely to go away anytime soon. However, after two seasons of buying small/single portion galette des rois on a nearly daily basis, this year, a change of strategy. We would buy only at the weekends, and fancy galettes des rois are on the table. * happy dance *

Galette des rois

A whopping eight galettes des rois had came through our door so far. Well, we started early this year, over the New Year’s long weekend, before Epiphany officially kicked off. It made sense since C&M were staying with us and C loves them as much as I do! We’ve largely stuck to one galette des rois per weekend-day rule, except yesterday when we had a small tasting party with friends; three galettes des rois were served and today we’re having none. It was a “sacrifice” I’d gladly make because it’s a lot more fun to share them :)

We started the first weekend with more traditional ones, filled with frangipane. The inaugural galette des rois came from our local boulangerie, which actually does very good galette des rois, generously filled with not just one, but two, fève! The traditional version from Lenôtre was very good too, with creamy frangipane and flaky pastry. By the time we got to Des gateaux et du pain, we were eager to try something different, and they sent us away with an upside down galette des rois filled with candied fruits. It was interesting but I can’t say I’m a big fan of it, although F ranked it one of his favourites.

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

The following weekend was our quiet weekend in. I found myself searching for a small, little known Japanese pâtisserie near Duroc on Saturday to collect a galette des rois that I’ve ordered ahead. Available only over two weekends, they created one filled with azuki (red bean) which I absolutely adored, and within, a fève of sakura tucked away from sight.

After a long run on Sunday morning, F offered to pick one up from Pierre Hermé. While his seasonal special is one with lemon, we went for the Ispahan. The signature flavour profile works surprisingly well for a galette des rois but I couldn’t help wincing at its price tag. This would be the most expensive that we’ve ever paid for, and I fear we may not be able to justify such a price again in the future, no matter how much I adore pastries from Pierre Hermé…

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

This weekend was the last big splurge on galettes des rois for 2015. We invited a few friends over for a “tasting + game” afternoon. In between rounds of DiXit, I served slices of atypical versions of the king’s cake. The favourite of the group was a macha and fig galette from Sadaharu Aoki, which my friend C kindly ordered and collected since there is a branch of Aoki near her place.

The same morning, I collected two others from major hotels in the city. At Prince de Galles, the frangipane of almond had been replaced with pecan. It was also beautifully decorated with candied pecans, and continuing the theme, the fève was a pecan half too (numbered 1-100, and F won the one with 88 on it). Taste-wise, we had expected more than the muted version that we’ve got. The pastry was flaky, the texture the right creaminess, but it was not as “pecan-y” as we thought it’d be.

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Galette des rois

Last but not least was the gorgeously packed square galette des rois from Westin Vendôme, with additional crowning glory in the form of confit mandarin filled with mandarin sorbet. The pastry was light and crumbly, the frangipane filling of almond and mandarin subtle; all in all, far too easy to eat, and well complemented with the mandarin sorbet. We were all puzzled though – there was no fève in the galette des rois? How scandalous!

This morning, I found the fève hidden inside the last confit mandarin sorbet that we didn’t eat yesterday. What are the chances? There were six of us at our little gathering yesterday, so three of the confit mandarin sorbet were duly slices so we all got a half to accompany our galette. We thought they had somehow left out the fève, and instead it was actually playing a hide-and-seek.

F told me he thinks he’s done with galette des rois for this year. Between feeding my addiction and getting more at work, he doesn’t think he’s up for more. Word has it, there will be a galette des rois party at work next week for me, so they’ll probably be my last slices for this year. I wonder though, if I manage to finish my 10K run next weekend within 60 minutes, do I not deserve one more galette des rois as reward? ;)



Category: Food & Drink, Ma vie en France

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 scribbles & notes

  1. Wow, you do like your Galettes! :)
    Although, a mystery has been explained – in previous years you spoke about your almost daily galettes, I didn’t know how you managed it – now I see that they were smaller ones! :)

    I have had 3 galettes so far this year, one of which was semi-homemade (homemade frangipane with good-quality shop bought puff pastry. I’ll have 2 next week – the “voeux” for my son’s crèche and a committee meeting. I’ll make one more for the arrival of my sister – she loves the tradition!

    • Lil says:

      Hehehe, it does seem a bit excessive but with so many options in Paris, one could not help eating more ;)

      I was debating if next year I should look into making different galettes every weekend myself. F laughed; he couldn’t believe I am already thinking about and planning next year’s stash of galettes!

  2. med says:

    kekekeke…tasty dessert plus a surprise collectible within. I guess it will be the same or more in 2015 lil ;)

    • Lil says:

      It’s the rule, D! All King’s cake should have a “prize” in it. The one who gets it is the King for the day ;)

  3. sila says:

    the mandarin one from the westin sounds really good. i am a sucker for most citrus combinations.. :) although i have not had a galette (des rois or for the people) ;)

    • Lil says:

      You would have enjoyed this season’s offering then. There were lots of lemon-based galette, but strangely they didn’t appeal as much to me, so I didn’t get them.

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