The French King Cake (La Galette des Rois) is traditionally eaten on Epiphany in France and all through carnival season in New Orleans. An sweet almond cream filling hides a little porcelain figure or king cake baby surprise in a flaky puff pastry shell. This is my first Mardi Gras away from home, so I'm bringing a bit of the Big Easy to college. They can be expensive and hard to find, especially outside of Louisiana, so here's how to celebrate Mardi Gras season wherever you are with a festive French King Cake.
French King Cake
- Prep Time:30 mins
- Cook Time:1 hr 20 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 50 mins
- 100 g superfine sugar
- 4 oz butter
- 100 g almond flour
- 2 eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package puff pastry sheets
- maple syrup or honey
- one dry bean or king cake baby optional
While your puff pastry is coming to room temperature, add in your butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
Crack in 1 egg and mix.
Dump in half almond flour and mix. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
Unfold your puff pastry and lay flat on a clean surface. Cut a circle shape with a knife. If you want a perfect circle (but it doesn't need to be), you can trace your knife around a large bowl. Repeat with the other puff pastry sheet and set one aside.
Put a sheet of parchment paper or silpat on a cookie sheet and lay down your first puff pastry circle. Spoon the almond cream onto the center of the circle leaving 1-2 inches of space around the edges.
Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp of water and brush or spoon around the edges to ensure a good seal with the top layer of puff pastry.
If you plan on going full out festive, you can add the dry bean or king cake baby here. Make sure to place it closer to the edge in the cream to make the cake easier to slice later.
Place the second circle on top of the almond cream and smooth it over the mixture removing any air pockets. Press the edges together again making sure to prevent any air pockets.
Pick up and fold the edges underneath for extra filling insurance.
Poke holes around the very edges of the puff pastry careful not puncture the filling. Take the egg yolk wash and thinly coat over the top of the puff pastry for a golden brown crust.
Take your knife and gently draw any design of your choice on the king cake making sure not to slice all the way through and exposing the filling. Be creative!
Put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 355℉. Bake for 20 minutes. Drop the temperature to 320℉ and bake for 20 minutes. Lastly, drop to 295℉ and bake for 40 minutes.
Take the cake out of the oven. While its cooling, drizzle and spread the top with honey to give a sweet glaze finish.
Slice it up and whoever gets the baby is king for the day. Give them a crown and cover them in Mardi Gras jewels. Laissez les bon temps roulez!