Friday, November 11, 2011

The French "Rosca the Reyes"

In Mexico we have the tradition of eating Rosca de Reyes for The Three Wise Men Day in January 6th. This round bread has a plastic baby figure that is to remember baby Jesus, and who ever gets it, has to buy the tamales for February 2nd. Well the french have a similar tradition, but in the first days of Februqry and they eat a "Galette des Rois" which has a colored chickpea inside. And the way they do it, is that the youngest member of the family gets under the table and as one older person cuts out the pieces, the kid is to say who that piece goes to making it fair   so that no one cheats in trying to avoid getting the chickpea which in turn will have to buy food for another occasion.

In school they taught us how to make this, well sort off, we made the "Pithiviers" which is exactly the same thing as a Galette des Rois, the only difference being is that the Pithiviers has petal shapes all around it, and the galette des Rois is completelly round. The "cake" is only puff pastry with almond paste in it, the puff pastry was good, but the almond paste not my favorite thing to eat though.

The chef was actually in a pretty good mood, and was telling us all about this tradition. And there is a third way of calling this cake if you do it in a long rectangular cake, and then sell it as individual pieces, which is the: "Dartois". Talk about being picky about names, this cake changes name in the way you even serve it.

 With the left over dough, since is difficult to reuse in another cake, since it won't puff as nice, the chef just did what they call "Sacristans" which are nothing more than chopped almonds, cinnamon, and supar twist. They are very good though.

And of course the fun part was to try them all.

For practical we had to do the Pithivier, and with the left over the Sacristains.

Look at those nice layers!!!!
The making of the pastry was a workout. We had to do 3 1/2 double turns on the dough, and the rolling out of it, is exercise.

Mine turn out pretty good actually, since my dough really puffed out in a very nice way, even though I had little pieces of butter exposed while making it.


The sacristains are a whole other thing. These are very very difficult to make. They look easy, but rolling them so they actually look like twist, and for them to be all even and look alike is very very hard. Mine once baked turned out not so bad, but I has very worried before baking them cause they looked really awful. Thankfully flavor and looks not always go hand in hand, and these tasted very good!!

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