This is a traditional cake served on January 6, which is the Epiphany and also happens to be the twelfth day of Christmas. Today is the day many people celebrate . Little children put hay or fresh straw under their beds for the camels and wake up to presents under their beds. Read through all of the directions before starting this project!
For the Pastry
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon/9 ounces/255 g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon/2 ml salt
1 3/4 stick/7 ounces/200 g unsalted butter
OR Pre-made puff pastry
For the filling:
4 ounces/115 g unsalted butter
4 ounces caster/115 g (superfine) sugar (not powdered or icing sugar)
3 egg yolks
4 drops almond essence
3 tablespoons/45 ml Cognac
4 ounces/115 g freshly ground almonds
1 dried bean, gold ring or baby figurine
Roll out the pie dough on a floured board to about 1/4-inch thickness. Dot it with one-third of the remaining 4 ounces butter cut into dice. Fold the pastry into three, like a letter, then again into three in the opposite direction. Cover in a cloth and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Repeat this process twice more and leave for another 20 minutes chilling before using. If you can't face all that fun, buy 1 pound of puff pastry instead.
Divide the pastry in half. Roll each half into a round of about 9-inches in diameter and let rest while you make the filling.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whisk in 2 of the yolks, the almond essence, the Cognac and the ground almonds. Work together until you have a smooth paste.
Rinse a sheet pan under cold water. Place one of the pastry rounds on the tray and spoon the paste onto it, leaving a 2-inch margin all around. Hide the bean or the other objects in the paste. Beat the remaining egg with a little water and paint the pastry margin. Place the second round of pastry on top and gently press edges together. Chill 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas 5. Using the back of a knife, make a lattice or star-shaped pattern on the pastry surface, but do not cut through to the filling. Pinch the edges prettily together. Paint the top with the egg wash. Bake the galette for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and brown. Transfer to a rack and cool. Dust with icing sugar.
Whomever finds the bean or ring or figurine is KING OF THE FEAST!