Epiphany or Three Kings Day is a holiday celebrated in January 6th in many countries around the world, through many different custom traditions. In the Bible, this date marks the moment when the Three Wise Men arrive from Orient, guided by a star, to meet baby Jesus. In France, according to our guide Valentine, this is one of the best times of the year for your palate, because it is the season for Galette des Rois (Kings’ cake). This cake will help you get through winter and, if you happen to be in Paris during the Galette season, you definitely cannot miss it!
More than a cake – an event!
The traditional Galette des Rois or King’s Cake is made with puff pastry and frangipane (a clever mix of almond flour, eggs, sugar and butter). You can also find some variations of the traditional Galette with hazelnuts, chocolate or apple. But the Galette des Rois is not a simple cake, it comes with a whole ceremony! Every Galette hides inside a charm, a little ceramic figurine called fève (broad bean in French). If you get the piece of cake with the fève in it, you become the Queen/King. You will then have to wear the paper crown, choose your royal partner, and you may even have to sing a song for the assembly!
Whether you are with your family, your friends or even your colleagues, the ceremony around Galette des Rois unfolds the same way. It is very important to assure that the recipient of the fève is random: the youngest in the group (thus the most innocent) hides under the table. Meanwhile, someone else cuts the Galette into pieces and asks “Who is this one for?”. The person under the table answers “this one is for …”, and on until everyone has a piece of cake. This way, nobody can cheat and only chance can choose the new monarch!
Best Galette des Rois in Paris
In Paris, many pastry chefs and bakers make wonderful Galettes. Here is our selection of pastry shops where you can discover this mouthwatering cake. The traditional frangipane ones are delicious but most chefs use some innovative recipes as well. We highly recommend to try them!
- Yann Couvreur, 3 shops in Paris.
- Angelina, 6 shops in Paris and 2 in Versailles.
- Sébastien Gaudard, 2 shops in Paris.
- House of the Three Brothers, 1 shop in Paris.
- Arnaud Larher, 3 shops in Paris.
- Des Gâteaux et du Pain, 1 shop in Paris.
- Pierre Hermé, 13 shops in Paris.
Article written by Valentine