The Epiphany Cake is exactly the kind of recipe I like. It involves tradition and family. I based my cake on the French recipe but this religious occasion is celebrated in many parts of the world.  Epiphany, which is celebrated on the 12th day of Christmas around the 6th of January is to mark the arrival of the three wise men. Hidden inside the Cake is a dried bean or trinket and whoever receives the piece of cake with the hidden trinket becomes king for the day. Much fuss is made in French families when someone finds the bean, it is their responsibility to provide the cake the following year to.

When I participated in this ritual in France I remember finding a foil crown in the cake. I would l have liked to source one of those but this time a bean would have to do.

In many homes a child goes under the table upon which the cake sits and calls out the names of the people waiting for a piece of cake. This way it is random who receives the lucky prize.

My first attempt was made with chocolate custard and this was too soft and the cake did not rise, However on the second attempt the Epiphany cake worked our wonderfully . Thanks to the help I received from my twitter friends and especially http://thepantryreview.blogspot.com/. Renee put me onto  the http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ recipe which was much easier to follow.

Recipe

Epiphany Cake or Galette des Rois

Ingredients

– 500 grams (17 2/3 ounces) all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen

For the crème d’amande:
– 125 grams (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
– 125 grams (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)castor sugar
– 110 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) almond meal (= finely ground almonds*)
– 8 grams (1 tablespoon) corn starch (in France, this is known under the brand name Maïzena)
– a good pinch sea salt
– 2 large eggs
– 1 drop almond extract (optional)

– 1 tablespoon extra castor sugar for eggwash


Serves 6 to 8.

Method

1. Prepare the crème d’amande.

Beat the butter until creamy, but avoid incorporating air into it. In a bowl, combine the sugar, almonds, corn starch, and salt. Stir with a whisk to remove any lumps. Add to the creamed butter and mix until smooth. Add the almond extract , then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

2. Cut the puff pastry into two circular pieces and brush the bottom piece with the eggwash leaving a small margin to join the two pieces together.

In the middle place the almond cream and place second piece of pastry on top.

Make a pretty pattern on top of the pastry and poke a few air holes and then brush with eggwash.

Then pop into an 170 degree oven for thirty minutes.


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