Epiphany: It’s a New Year and it just might be a good one …
And now it’s a New Year and I hope it will be a wonderful one for you and for everyone you love.
I’ve got a hunch that it’s going to be a good year, in part because, for the first time ever, I was the person who got the trinket in the galette des rois (kings cake)! And so I got to wear the crown and crown my king! I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I’m taking it as a sign. And if I’m thinking I’m going to have a good year, I’d like to think that you’re going to have one too.
Wishing you everything sweet for 2013 – xoDorie
The Ritual of Galette des Rois: Epiphany is January 6 and in France, as in other places, the day is celebrated with a special pastry: Kings Cake. In Provence, the cake is made with a brioche dough, baked in a ring and decorated with candied fruit. Just about everywhere else in France the cake is not a cake at all, but two layers of puff pastry encasing, at its most classic, almond cream: a mix of butter, eggs, sugar and ground almonds. Just as modern pastry chefs have played with the flavor of the fillings, they’ve also made the Galette des Rois a celebration running from the day after Christmas through most of January, giving sweet lovers more chances to taste different kinds of galettes and, of course, more chances to be crowned the king or queen.
Here’s how it works. Baked inside every galette is a little trinket. Originally, it was a bean, or feve, nowadays it’s a small porcelain charm (some beautiful enough to wear) and at all times it’s something to aspire to and to beware of: I’m guessing that dentists are busy during the galette season. When you buy a galette, you’re given a crown and, as with the feves, crowns go from simple (think McDonald’s like) to gorgeous, like the intricate orange crown from Pierre Herme. The youngest person in the group is supposed to sit under the table – I wish you could have seen 30-year old Simon crouched under the table! – and, as each portion of the galette is sliced, ‘the child’ calls out the name of the person who should be served. Of course, there’s great excitement when the feve is discovered and the discoveree is crowned. In some homes, the crown is passed along to the winner’s choice for King or Queen. When I won the crown, Pierre had supplied a second crown and so I was able to give it to Michael and we could both look silly … but happy.