Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Galette des rois – The Cake of French Kings

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For this week’s Blogger Round-Up and as a follow-up to my last Friday’s French post, I thought I’d find three different posts about the galette des rois or the French cake of kings, an increasingly popular tradition in France which starts on or about January 6th (feast of the Epiphany) and continues right up until the end of the month. Susan from Days on the Claise explains how to make your own galette, Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris reports on turning the tradition into a fund-raising initiative for maladies orphelines while Janine from The Good Life France gives us a very complete description of the galette and its various traditions. You might also like to read my own post on the subject written a couple of years ago. Enjoy!

Galette des rois, à peu près

by Susan from Days on the Claise, an Australian living in the south of the Loire Valley, writing about restoring an old house and the area and its history and running Loire Valley Time Travel.

galette_roi1Now, I know that this is stepping dangerously into Walt’s territory, but since we are approaching Epiphany, I’m going to talk about making galette des rois.

Well, sort of. I’m going to tell you how to make a quick and easy version, that, although it won’t be in the same league as Walt’s and your local pâtissière’s, is still a very acceptable addition to the post-Christmas table — and the real thing is getting very expensive, so homemade is an economical option! Read more

King Cake (Galette des Rois) and the meaning of “Maladie Orpheline”

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

galette_roi_orphelineIn spite of having been married to a native French speaker for many years, I’m not fluent in French. But since we raised our children in a bilingual home, my comprehension is usually fairly accurate. All of this is just a roundabout way of admitting that I felt really foolish after incorrectly translating maladie orpheline on Twitter. Here’s the tweet:

Best pastry chefs in Paris sell King Cakes to fight childhood illnesses. Jan 4. Place Saint-Germain des Prés:quefaire.paris.fr/fiche/76201_la…

In a hurry to help spread the word about a fund-raising initiative by some of the top pastry chefs in Paris, I didn’t take the time to google maladie orpheline. Instead, I rapidly translated it as “childhood illnesses” and waited until my walking French dictionary returned home from work. “I’m confused about something.” Read more

Galette des Rois – The French Cake of Kings

By Janine Marsh from The Good Life France, an independent on-line magazine about France and all things French, covering all aspects of daily life including healthcare, finance, utilities, education, property and a whole lot more.

galette-des-roisThe 6th of January is a special day in France, it is the 12th day of Christmas, the date of the Epiphany and most importantly the day when all over France the cake known as galette des rois is traditionally served.

This flaky cake known as the King’s Tart is a piece of French gastronomic history which goes back several centuries.

The cake is made of a seriously buttery puff pastry, filled with almond paste, baked and often decorated beautifully with candied fruit. Patisseries and boulangeries compete to create the most magnificent of cakes and supermarket shelves will be heaving with boxed galette des Rois from the end of December. Read more

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10 thoughts on “Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Galette des rois – The Cake of French Kings”

  1. Many thanks Rosemary. Another very interesting post! Loved reading about French culinary traditions and links with French history. Must try making the Galette des Rois sometime even though it’s outside the dates and I won’t have a feve. In recipes where glace fruit are added on top, when is this done, do you know? If at the start it would probably burn. Also enjoyed the links to other bloggers. Best wishes, Pamela

  2. Thanks for the link to my galette post. My understanding is that there are two types of galette des rois. In the north they make the flaky pastry/frangipane version. In the south they make the version decorated with candied fruit. I don’t know what the base of that type is and I have never seen one here in the Touraine.

    1. Hello! Here in the SW of France the galette has always been a “brioche” looking like a crown and stuffed with “fruits confits” inside… Since about 20 years the “other” galette found its place in the “boulangeries” but the foreign cake is called “La Parisienne” just in case somebody forgot that is not a proper galette 🙂

      I took a picture yesterday in a bakery near my place thinking I’ll post it here…
      On the picture you can see both “galettes” and the mark of infamy “Parisienne” !!!!!
      Bon appétit !

      1. Thank you Ago! May I add the photo to the post (with credits to you of course)? I have never tasted the “brioche” one.

  3. Thanks for the links. It’s always interesting learning about regional variations in French traditions and cuisine. I’m not that great in the kitchen (yet…) but these look doable. Maybe next year 😉

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