It's nearly the end of January already. Only a few more days to eat galette des rois. This year we ate about 6 of them and by now I am completely sick of them. Here's my round-down of our favourites.
My neighbourhood patisserie Malitourne manages to surprise us every year with their reliably consistent textbook rendition. Crisp, airy puff pastry casing, check. Good quality frangipane, rich and fragrant without that overwhelming fake note, check. Good price, check, although at 14.50 euros for a 4-person cake it is more expensive than our last comparison test two years ago.
What I had intended to do this year was to test the latest trend in this traditional cake. Like substituting frangipane with apples (Dalloyau) which made me wonder if that doesn't make it an apple pie instead. I read about Lenotre having a rhum-baba version and was curious to try it, unfortunately we left it a little late, they stopped selling this limited edition item within two weeks. Still, husband humoured me by bringing home their regular version.
Nice couronne. Galette impressively tall. Pity about the pedestrian paper bag though, not too classy.
I warmed it a little too long in the oven hence the darkened edges. The puff pastry was so light and thin it shattered upon contact with the blade of a knife. The frangipane was generous and of very fine quality without being cloying. The feve was very shiny too. Coming in at 22 euros makes it a treat for special occasions.
Until I washed the feve and discovered the heart stamps. Awww....
What we managed to do was to get to Pierre Herme quite early on in the season and they had two special versions. First was the "Pralinée". I got the version for one which means it doesn't have a feve.
The filling is of hazelnuts and caramel, seriously delicious. Layers of nutty buttery sweetness shot through with a faint salty bitter edge. If it was not for our small family I would have bought a bigger cake. The instruction was to eat it unwarmed, otherwise the hazelnut filling would melt.
Their other special was une galette made in the flavours of their famous confection Ispahan. I love the Ispahan especially their ice cream which is available in hotter weather but sometimes it doesn't translate well e.g. in croissants. Giving it benefit of doubt we brought one home. A 4-person portion cost something like 32 euros, this had better be good.
Thank goodness it was. The almond paste was there in the background, but played second fiddle to the gorgeous fruity flavours of the raspberries and rose-scented lychees. It was a marvelous and exotic treat, made all the more so accompanied by a pot of good tea and looking out into the cold and dark city. We shared the other half, still warm, with the gardienne and her husband, they too loved it.
I have to admit though, the reason I was so into these galettes is the feves. It brings out the "masak-masak' inclination in me. Here we have a collection from the past three years. The well-known patisseries have more elegant feves, e.g. the miniature of Pierre Herme's Plenitude confection but I love the nostalgic whimsy of the little sheep and milk jug too. Rufus was no doubt considering if Bambi was actually edible.