Traditional, daring, original … Each year, the Galette des Rois (literally ‘cake of the kings’) an Epiphany cake is reinvented by Parisian bakers and pâtissiers. While the classic version consists of two layers of puff pastry generously filled with an almond frangipane cream, it also comes in an infinite variety of flavours, types of pastry, and fillings. So, what do they all have in common? The fève (a bean or sometimes a porcelain figurine) of course! Here is a snapshot of some of the delectable creations that will be tempting Parisians in 2023.
Bakeries Stohrer, Hugo & Victor, the Boulanger de la Tour, Benoît Castel and Thierry Marx have opted for a frangipane Epiphany cake in which technique and the pure simplicity of taste are perfectly mastered. Pastry maker Philippe Conticini has chosen a traditional recipe but with a difference: he celebrates women with a ‘Galette des Reines’ (a Queens’ Epiphany cake rather than a Kings’) designed in partnership with the media outlet Les Éclaireuses. This cake is made of the traditional frangipane, but also of Gianduja, a delight! .
As for Pierre Hermé, he has created a brioche des rois with pistachio praline and 3 different Epiphany cakes whose macaroon-shaped lucky charms are made by the Monnaie de Paris: the "infinitely praline pistachio" made of puff pastry and pistachio almond cream, topped with a melting pistachio praline, a "Jardin de Palerme" with almond cream and notes of lemons and candied grapefruit zest. Finally, the unmissable "Infiniment amande", a traditional cake with a hint of roasted almonds, as well as the puff pastry brioche with chocolate and caramel. Aveyron-born chef Cyril Lignac also presents a brioche with orange blossom, topped with sugar, pistachios and caramelized hazelnuts.
Ladurée too has a signature brioche, where the Basque cake base is embellished with a melting pistachio almond cream and a heart of pistachio praline with a subtle note of orange blossom. The Maison du Chocolat’s original gourmet cake is a chocolate work of art for an original and tasty chocolate and lemon galette. At Jean-Paul Hévin, the galette is reminiscent of the sun as well as the moon and is composed of a double puff pastry - vanilla and chocolate - almond cream with chocolate chips, and mandarin marmalade. Scrumptious!
But also the Maison Lenôtre which offers three other versions, a classic, a roasted almond and hazelnut galette and a chocolate galette in the shape of a hot chocolate cup, with its melting marshmallows. The chocolate handle can be crunched as well as melted to make a delicious... hot chocolate! Finally, a little originality, a potato, comté and walnut sun cake is also to be discovered! A savoury delight to be tried urgently!
Tea lovers will be seduced by the Mariage Frères cakes. The first one, "Marco Polo sublime" with its shiny black appearance, brilliantly combines frangipane, blueberry, blackcurrant and black tea. The second, the "Rainbow Rhapsody" is a red frangipane cake with white Rainbow Rhapsody® tea, with citrus notes and crowned with delicious pineapple petals candied with hibiscus.
Oriental addresses Babka Zana, Maison Aleph and Maison Gazelle mix genres with a Babka of Kings with honey, Epiphany cakes with flavours from the Levant or in the style of gazelle horns. For more surprises, you will also want to check out the iced versions from Fabrique Givrée or La Glacerie.
However, the most original is perhaps the charcuterie Epiphany cake from up-market Maison Vérot which offers a savoury version with pork and foie gras ...
This year, the chef Cédric Grolet offers a traditional galette with its almond-shaped flaky brioche galette, filled with roasted almond cream and seasoned with fleur de sel for the palace hotel Le Meurice.
Other palace hotels have their own versions of the Epiphany cake. The Shangri-La is partnering with Persée and is featuring a Viennese puff pastry galette with frangipane, tonka bean and rum notes, an Arlette puff pastry and pink pralines. One hundred galettes are winners and allow you to win one of the jewels of the Maison Persée Paris. François Perret, in his Petit Comptoir du Ritz, offers a version with inverted puff pastry and almond macaroni.
At the George V, Michael Bartocetti proposes a creation composed of an almond macaroon, a croissant pastry and a frangipane with marcona almonds, while Nicolas Guercio of the Lutetia gives pride of place to the pecan with a galette in several layers composed of a melting crumble, a butter cream and a pecan praline, an almond-pecan cream and a flaky brioche A delight! Matthieu Carlin of the Hôtel de Crillon proposes a galette mixing the traditional frangipane with a thin layer of cocoa nibs. On top, a crunchy almond and cocoa nib tuile enhances the cake and gives it a unique touch.
The head pâtissier at Hôtels Evok plebiscites the flavours of Italy with an original cake with Italian almond cream, raspberry seed and mandarin marmalade. We can't resist it!
One thing is sure, there is something for all tastes and all budgets!