King cake with almond cream and applesauce

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The traditional French dessert Galette des Rois (King Cake) is traditionally served on Epiphany and usually during the whole month of January. It is mostly served in the northern half of France (they have another cake in southern France for Epiphany).

It is a round cake made with 2 puff pastries and filled with frangipane (mix of almond cream and custard) or appelsauce, and sometimes chocolate, fruits, or a mix of different of these ingredients… We hide a “lucky charm” made out of porcelain in the middle. The person who finds it becomes the king or the queen ! If you don’t have one, you can also put a fava bean…

Here I propose a version with almond cream on a fine layer for applesauce. But you can try many other fillings, following the same steps (see the notes at the end of the recipe).

Enjoy 🙂

King cake with almond cream and applesauce

Servings 8
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 2 homemade or store-bought puff pastry 100% pure butter
  • 1 fava

Almond cream

  • 70 g sugar
  • 100 g almond powder
  • 60 g soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp bitter almond extract or orange blossom extract
  • 1 tsp rum optional

Applesauce

  • 3 medium size apples
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Gilding

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp tepid milk

Syrup (optional – to make the cake shine even brighter)

  • 30 g sugar optional
  • 3 tbsp water optional

Instructions

  • Ideally, prepare the cake a day before.

Applesauce instructions

  • Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces.
  • Cook them over low heat in a small saucepan with water and sugar until they have a melting texture.

Almond cream instructions

  • While the applesauce is cooking, prepare the almond cream. In a salad bowl, make a “beurre pommade” with the soft butter using a soft spatula. You must press it heavily with the spatula to obtain a creamy texture.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla sugar. Then incorporate the almond powder.
  • Add this mixture to the butter and mix vigorously to obtain a homogeneous cream.
  • Then, add the bitter almond (or orange blossom) and the rum eventually.
  • Finally, for a crunchier version, you can add some crushed almonds. Reserve.

Assembling the cake

  • Unroll a first puff pastry. Spread the applesauce in a thin layer leaving 2 cm of free edge.
  • Then spread the almond cream evenly over the applesauce.
  • Place the fava rather towards the outside of the cake.
  • Prepare the gilding: mix the eggs with the milk using a whisk.
  • Brush the free edge of the cake. It will help you to weld the 2 doughs.
  • Close the cake by covering it with the second puff pastry.
  • Then weld the edges together: either by lightly pressing the two dough together with 3 fingers or by "chipping" it. To do this, with the tip of a knife, bring the dough towards the center of the cake by directing it with the blade of a knife at an angle (look for videos for further explanations).
  • Brush the cake with the gilding mixture.
  • Reserve the cake in the refrigerator until the next day, or between 30 mn and 1 hour if you prepare it on the D-day. This will help to weld the two doughs together.
  • When you take the cake out of the fridge, draw patterns on the top of your cake with the tip of a knife (rosette, flowers, stripes, etc…).
  • Then, brush the cake again with the gilding.
  • Make 4 holes with a knife so that the cake does not peel off during cooking.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C, checking regularly that it is cooked. Do not hesitate to turn a bit the cake in the oven so that it cooks evenly.
  • Once cooked, you can add a sugar syrup on the cake to make it even shinier. To do this, first melt some sugar in a skin of water and let the mixture cool down. Then brush the cake with the syrup with a food brush.

Notes

You can try different fillings, more or less close to the classic versions, to garnish the cake. For instance, you could try these versions:
  • almond cream + pistachios (pistachio paste + crushed pistachios)
  • fruit (raspberries or morello cherries) + pistachio
  • hazelnut and almond cream
  • chesnut cream
  • pear & chocolate…
Or whatever comes to your mind 🙂 
 
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Almond

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