New Year’s Eve is thing of the past and the cold month of January is upon us… But that does not mean we can’t celebrate anymore! This Saturday, January 5th, on the Eve of Epiphany, will be celebrated the Fête des Rois (literally the “Festival of Kings”), a French holiday that revolves around a delicious yet simple cake.
King’s cake or galette des rois is a puff pastry with almond cream (or frangipane) into which is hidden a trinket (usually a porcelain figurine) or a bean (la fève).
If you’ve visited France during the month of January, you must have noticed these flat cakes in the windows of the bakeries and pastry shops. They’re everywhere around this time of year!
One of the best things about this cake – and one which is sure to amuse the kids – is the ritual that goes with it: before an adult divides the cake, the youngest child of the family hides underneath the table and, once it is divided, calls out which slice goes to whom. Whoever gets the bean in his slice is named King (or Queen) for the day and gets to wear the paper crown that usually comes with the galette. One last thing: beware that the King does not choke on the bean before he is actually crowned!
So why not celebrate the Fête des Rois this year? The kids will love it and it will give you a reason to reunite the whole family around the dinner table one last time before 2013 really begins.
I usually buy my galette des rois since they are pretty easy to find in Montreal but you can always make your own. I particularly like this recipe… and will definitely try this one soon.
Enjoy and Happy New Year everyone!