Happy New Year from Paris with a Galette des Rois Recipe

So we made it to 2013. It wasn’t the end of the world after all, right? I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and took the time to chill out, relishing in the festive atmosphere and savouring precious moments.

Just as you thought I was deserting you all, I surprised even myself with such a long computer break – even forgetting my password – and instead became an elf. I ‘desserted‘ the kitchen. Big time.
Although I’m sorry to say I didn’t take many photos. I don’t know how so many wonderful, professional blogger friends do it but as I’m not serious, here are just a few snaps to prove I’ve been testing some sweet recipes for you.

Ice creams, pastries, meringues, macarons (well you expect it here, don’t you?), brioches, éclairs – all accompanied by good friends and bubbles. Now that’s what I call the sweet life. N’est-ce pas: a meringue or am I right? (Scottish pun).

What I love about living here is that the French still have a knack of cheering you up, even as the Christmas decorations come down at Epiphany. Suddenly the Pâtisserie shop windows are decked out in Galettes des rois (King Cake.) Being a cheap-skate (or rather, obsessed home cook), I make mine at home. That way I can greedily add more creamy almond paste filling inside the puff pastry and use fancy trinkets. Being a lazy gourmet, I use store-bought puff pastry (always choose pur beurre, the full butter version, which is better quality than plain puff.)

J’aime la galette…especially with added hazelnut praline

Galette des Rois Recipe

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves 6-8

150g softened butter
150g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp dark rum (or Amaretto)
1 tsp almond extract

2 puff pastry circles (ready-made, pure butter)
1 egg yolk

1 fève or trinket
1 paper crown

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4). For the almond cream, cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl then gradually add all the other ingredients and mix together well to form a smooth cream.
  2. Place the first pastry circle on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Spread the almond mix evenly on top, leaving a space of 2-3 cm as a border and wash this border with egg yolk. Insert the porcelaine trinket well into the almond cream (if you’re not sure of the quality of the trinket, I suggest you add it at the end by pushing it up into the bottom of the pastry.)
  3. Place the second puff pastry circle on top and seal the outside edges, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Brush the top of the pastry with the rest of the egg yolk. 
  4. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes (optional but helps the decor about to be done stay intact). Make indents on the border and then criss-cross patterns using the blunt end of a knife. Pierce 4 or 5 little holes in the pastry, so that air can escape.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm with Cider.

* For those that don’t want to add alcohol, you could replace the rum or Amaretto with milk and a dash of orange flower water.

Some fancy porcelaine galette trinkets from St Germain-en-Laye

As usual in our house, Lucie – being the youngest – traditionally sits under the table and chooses who gets each slice, so there’s no favouritism in dishing out the prized portion with the fève/trinket to become crowned King or Queen. Just as well for tradition: at least I can be rest assured there’s no longer need to crouch and creek the knees below – even amongst the adult table; I married a Toy Boy. Ha! Say no more.

Well yes. There is more; much more in store for you this year on le blog. I just need to put it all together, remember the blooming passwords and get that brain gack in bear!

Happy New Year to you all and wishing you the best of health and happiness, my friends.


You can find my recipe (including detailed step-by-step instructions) for Pistachio and Griotte Cherry Galette des Rois and many more galette des rois variations in my new recipe book, Teatime in Paris!

39 replies
  1. Lora
    Lora says:

    I love the trinkets! I baked so many things this holiday season to keep up with parties and entertaining and photographed none of it. So you are way ahead of me. A belated Happy New Year!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I don’t know how you do it, Lora! At least you’ll have a cleaner camera. Mine is covered in food – time to change in 2013. Er, cleaner camera fingers or the camera, lol. Happy 2013 to you, too!

  2. Purabi Naha
    Purabi Naha says:

    Those trinkets are so cute! I loved this unique galette recipe. Truly, your blog looks stunning and the pictures look droolworthy all the time. I am in no way going to quit desserts after seeing such a delectable spread!

  3. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Dunno where my comment went … what I was saying was “A meringue or am I right?” It took me a minute before the giggle kicked in. You are a hoot! Love your photo journal of distractions over Christmas and this is a gorgeous Galette des Rois – great frangipane filling. Will definitely include amaretto – yuuuuum!

    p.s. Thanks for the g+ – just getting the hang of this technology.

  4. Becky
    Becky says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday, “unplugged”, and baking like crazy.

    I didn’t know how the French celebrated Mardi Gras. I love the galette, with the almond cream filling. I have to try this one. I have made the yeast version of the King Cake before.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Interesting, Becky. Yes, I see that mardi gras (n New Orleans, e.g.) they have the King Cake too but not the same as this French one for Epiphany stuffed with frangipane or almond cream.

  5. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    Must remember not to stop by BEFORE breakfast, especially being in Paris which is comparable to being in the middle of a sugar landmine field…
    Faites Attention!
    Love your local feves by the way

  6. Ann
    Ann says:

    Now that I know how easy it is to make a galette des rois, I’m never buying one again. The boulangeries of Paris are cursing you, Jill… 😉

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hehe. Thanks, Ann – I know I should make my own puff pastry too but I’m too much a lazy gourmet for that part. Made another one and just about to devour it. It makes this one look silly since I found out why my pastry was puffing up too much in the middle…

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Happy New Year Jill! (if not too late to say…) Whoa! You have been baking so much! It’s great that you were serious about testing out recipes… hopefully we’ll see these recipes this year? I was offline for a week, but I caught a cold. When I do something that I’m not used to do, something like this happens! j/k Looking forward to your posts this year! xoxo

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Nami, in France people say this until end January and even still send cards! Never too late – thanks for popping by and look after that cold.

  8. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write)
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write) says:

    ONE DAY. ONE DAY I will make my own Galette des Rois. It always coincides with back to school and generally coming back from a trip (this year, Burma and lots of jetlag to go with that) so I never get around to it and have to live vicriously though others. Happy New year Jill and Bonne Santé XOX

  9. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    Happy New Year from your BFF on the other side of the world!! You have certainly been baking busy, haven’t you?? I sort of did the same thing myself and spent days in the kitchen, but didn’t take a photo. Well, Instagram, but nothing real. I’m eager to see about your brioche! One of my all time favorites, but one that I don’t make too often due to a few extra calories that seem to hang on around my middle a little more often lately.
    Love the pics of the girls! Happy 2013!! L

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Awe – thanks for that, Kim. Happy 2013 to you too, my sunny, bubbly Californian friend. Oh, Instagram. I have that downloaded but I don’t use it – hate the out of focus photos but I hear it’s fun. Yet another distraction, eh? Brioche calories? Och no!

  10. Jean-Pierre
    Jean-Pierre says:

    Right. That does it. Can we go shopping together next time I’m in Paris? I need these feves for an excuse to make my own galette, Jill!

  11. Thomasina
    Thomasina says:

    I love all the photos Jill. Great idea the French have making galettes just after the festive season when everything is usually doom and gloom. I love the Venetian ornaments – what a surprise it would be to find one in a galette!

  12. Lucie
    Lucie says:

    could you remake those scrumptious crêpes, meringues that succulent roasted duck and fish à la viennoise please! I ADORED it!
    Lucie 😉

  13. Liz
    Liz says:

    Oh, how nice to unplug from the computer…I need to try that…and soon!!! I’m sure you and your family had a delicious holiday!I need to put your stunning Galette des Roi on my bucket list…yours is picture perfect, Jill!!! Happy New Year!

  14. Stella
    Stella says:

    Thank you Jill for your visit over to my blog. Your comments were really appreciated, and happily it has lead me to discover your blog which is amazing! For a confirmed francophile like me, your page is such a find! I love Paris, I love France and I love macarons! I will be back to try some of your recipes. Best wishes.

  15. Pauline
    Pauline says:

    well you’re ahead of me still Jill , Happy New Year ! I do like the sound of this with rum and you say serve with cider. That is real cider n’est pas ?

  16. Jill
    Jill says:

    Hi Jamie! Great to hear from you and thanks for your lovely wishes. Yep, galettes, galettes – I can eat them every day until I’m so sick of them I won’t miss them until January 2014 😉 Stay tuned, the recipes will come out on le blog and many more are in the next book…

  17. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Happy New Year, Jill! I have been going crazy making my galette… I love making them and eating them. I will have to try your filling since I’ve not yet made frangipane this year. But all of your desserts in your photos! Stunning! When will we discover them on your blog with the recipes???

    Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] used a recipe by Jill Colonna to make my version, below. Visit Jill’s website to find out how to make it. […]

  2. […] I’m making the traditional royal French Galettes des Rois this week for Epiphany, I’ve also had a crescendoing urge to make … cheesecake! […]

  3. […] Galette des Rois is so easy to make at home yourself (see my French king cake recipe here), especially as in France they sell ready-made frangipane mixes in the supermarkets and all you […]


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