It's that time of year again! And although I'm not in France this year for the celebration of the Galette des Rois, or Kings Cake, for the Epiphany, I can still celebrate on my own. (Not the holiday, but the dessert.)
Being in the states could even benefit me a little, allowing for fewer restrictions on tradition for this delicious galette.
So this year I made a Chocolate-Cherry Galette Des Rois, unheard of but awesome. I skipped putting the fève, or little figurine, inside, to see who would end up the "king" for the day. Instead I declared myself king, because, why not?
Galette des Rois aux Cerises et au Chocolat:
2 Shots of Cognac, Armagnac, or Whiskey
2T Dried cherries
120g Butter, softened
120g Ground almonds
1 Pinch of salt
1/2t Vanilla extract
45g Dark chocolate, chopped
Puff pastry, 2 sheets
1 Egg, beaten with a touch of water
50ml Water + 50g sugar heated together to combine, then cool.
Preheat your oven to 200C or about 400F
In a small bowl combine the alcohol of your choice with the dried cherries to rehydrate them, at least 30 minutes.
As the cherries are rehydrating, cream the softened butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Next, add the ground almonds and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, vanilla, and 1T of the alcohol that has been sitting with the dried cherries, and whisk together. Add the chocolate and rehydrated cherries and fold in. Set aside.
Roll out one of the puff pastry sheets onto a sheet of parchment paper. Spoon the almond mixture into the center in a circle about 3/4 inch, or 2cm in height. Depending on the size of the galette you want to make, you may have excess. Reserve for future use.
Brush a little egg wash around the almond mixture and lay the second sheet of puff pastry over, pressing the two together around the almond cream.
Leaving a little border of pastry around the almond cream, cut off the excess puff pastry in a design pattern or just circular. Carefully, transfer the pastry onto a small baking sheet.
Next, brush a light coating of egg wash over the pastry and place it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge and brush on a second coat of egg wash. Using a pairing knife, poke a small hole in the center of the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Finally, using the back of the knife, make a design on the pastry and place it in the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown.
To get a nice, shiny finish, brush a little sugar syrup over the baked pastry and cook one minute more. Remove from the oven and cool. Once the galette is fully cooled, poke a hole somewhere in the bottom of the pastry and insert the fève. Slice, and whomever gets the piece with the fève inside will be king!