End the Christmas season on a sweet note! Epiphany Eve, also known as Twelfth Night or Three Kings' Day, is a feast day in January steeped in history and celebrated in many cultures. Part of this holiday's tradition is the making of an "Epiphany Cake." In France, it's also called a "galette des Rois," or Kings' Cake. In the layers of puff pastry is hidden a bean. Whoever finds the bean in his piece of cake is crowned King for the day! As part of those royal "duties" he, or she, can be the one to give out the presents or party favors to all the kids, choose music or the games to be played, or simply wear his crown with pride. Some traditions grant the king one wish. This fun baking (and eating!) activity will get your child into the spirit of this holiday.
What You Need:
- Puff pastry dough, 17 oz. divided
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp. water
- "Feve": a figurine or one dry uncooked bean to hide in the cake
- Brush, such as a basting brush
- Frangipane (an almond or almond flavored filling that will rest between the puff pastry sheets)
- 1/2 cup well ground almonds or 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons flour
What You Do:
- First unroll one sheet of puff pastry, or if you make your own puff pastry dough roll out enough for the bottom layer (about 9 oz.) and place this on a baking sheet. It can be square or circular. For pre-made puff pastry check the freezer section of your local grocery.
- Now to make the filling! Using a food processor or hand mixer mix all the frangipane ingredients together until it's a paste. Quick tip: don't have these kitchen gadgets? Melt the butter separately then mix briskly with the rest of the frangipane ingredients with a hand whisk or fork.
- Next, prep the layer of dough that's on the baking sheet by brushing egg yolk onto the edges, like you're painting the border of a picture frame onto it. That "frame" can be half an inch thick or less. Set the leftover yolk aside to use later.
- Then it's time to pour the frangipane filling into the middle of the puff pastry sheet! Try to keep it inside the "frame" you brushed onto the dough.
- Place a bean or figurine somewhere into the filling, closer to the edge of the cake.
- Now you're ready to roll out a second sheet of puff pastry. Center this over the bottom layer and set it on top.
- Use a fork to press the edges together; that along with the egg yolk helps glue it closed for baking.
- Try this: You can use the back of a knife to create a pattern on the top layer –like simple crisscrossed lines or curves.
- Brush the top with egg yolk. As the cake bakes it'll get a nice glossy finish!
- In a 350 degree oven bake your cake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is a golden brown.
- Once it's done, take it out from the oven. Then it's ready for Epiphany Eve!
Make sure guests are aware of the bean and remember to have a crown ready for the king or queen of the feast!