Sunday, January 10, 2010


Frangipane is a yummy almond filling, not unlike marzipan, and you find it a lot in these parts this time of year as part of a celebration of La Fête des Rois, or the Epiphany (when, among other things, the three wise men made their way to Bethlehem to meet baby Jesus bearing gifts.)  In purely secular fashion, one celebrates by eating la Galette des Rois (or King Cake), a flat, flaky, buttery, round cake filled with frangipane.

The official holiday is on January 6th, but you can find galettes featured in French bakeries immediately after Christmas and throughout January. Inside the cake is hidden a porcelain or plastic figurine, or la fève, that can do some serious dental damage to unsuspecting choppers. Whoever gets the fève is king, or queen, for the day, crown included.  Originally the fève was a bean, but today it can be anything from the very random to the very topical (e.g., we got an Avatar action figure in our first galette of the season).

We shared our 3rd galette with French neighbors today.

Not only am I big fan of the cake, but I have a little soft spot for the holiday: my husband and I met at a champagne and galette party he held nearly 10 years ago in NYC, so it's touching to see our daughter Camille's "coronation" years later.


  1. picture cracks me up. is camille's facial expression:

    a) it's hard to be a ruler; too much pressure
    b) i took 'let them eat cake' a leetle too far-ah

  2. Ili won the feve this year at school -- he's in petite section -- when I asked him about it (WOW, you were the WINNER???) he kind of shrugged, fished it out of his bag and showed it to me -- completely underwhelmed, I guess because the "prize" is so small and, well, useless. Not sure what he was expecting to find (some kind of power ranger themed toy, batteries included, no doubt), but it certainly wasn't a tiny ceramic figurine!