samedi 19 janvier 2013

Galette de Rois

As xmas and New Year's become a distant memory and we are in the beginning of the winter doldrums, along comes 5 January and the arrival of the Galette de Rois (King's Cake) and the ever treasured "fève" (literal translation -bean) that is a tiny porcelain charm baked into the middle of the cake. These delectable cakes made from a buttery pastry and filled with frangipane (almond paste) can be found in all the patisserie windows up until February. Then they just up and disappear. The treasure found in the middle of the cake is the "coupe du monde" for the children. The patisseries all seem to display their particular theme of fève in the window competing for the best treasure to be found. The collection ranges from Bart Simpson to Disney characters to special designs. When you purchase the galette, the bake reminds you to "rechauffée" un peu and wraps the paper crown around the packaging to be given to the one who finds the fève in their slice of cake.

A game is made out of the serving of the slices by having the youngest child go under the table and announcing the distribution of each slice. Everyone commences at once to eat and the one who finds the charm in their slice is crowned "le roi" and proudly wears the paper crown. Now, I could be wrong, but finding a hard porcelain charm in your slice of cake would not go over well regarding liability issues in the U.S. The lawyers would be waiting in earnest to pounce on this opportunity! Here, no one thinks twice about their cake and perhaps choking on something found inside.

I say on average, one galette/week is eaten, however this family has already surpassed this average, hoping to collect the entire lot of fèves at our local patisserie. This is a great Sunday afternoon treat with friends and neighbors along with a bit of champagne or cidre - nice way to extend the new year celebrations. Happy fève finding!!

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