Recently, I learned that the Epiphany is celebrated with a special twelfth night cake, La Galette des Rois (King's cake). During the month of January this puff pastry is sold in all French bakeries and is sold plain or with a frangipane filling. The cake contains a lucky charm (une feve). Originally, this charm was a bean but by the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century they started using ceramic charms. These charms are usually religious figures but they can be just about anything.
Wednesday I had my first taste of La Galette des Rois. My French teacher, V drove to a French bakery just so she could share this cake with our class. She also gave us a French handout to translate about the history & customs surrounding this cake. V always comes up with the most interesting assignments to help us learn French. The cake was absolutely delicious!! The pastry was flaky and buttery with a cheese like filling that was slightly sweet with hints of almonds. I left class craving more but my desire wasn't strong enough to drive an hour to France.
But this afternoon, I decided to go to one of the local bakeries and see if I could find La Galette des Rois. And voila, I found it at the first bakery. Unfortunately, the cake wasn't nearly as tasty as the one V bought. But I now understand why she drove to France to buy it.
After Lil' C finished his dinner, we followed the modern tradition of having the youngest person (Lil' C of course) in the room hide under the table and chose which slice of cake each person received. The person who finds the feve in their slice becomes the king or queen and has to wear a paper crown. Guess who found it? S!
The feve was a little ceramic statue of one of the three kings. Lil' C was quite upset when he discovered his Dad had found the lucky charm. I'm not sure if he thought each slice had a charm because he took his cake and broke it up into small pieces searching for this little treasure. When he didn't find it he started to cry. And it was a cry of sheer disappointment. We felt so bad we had him hide under the table again and I hide the little king in my slice and traded my slice with him. Lil' C was so excited when he discovered the charm. He proudly put the crown on and announced he wasn't a king but a prince. ;)
Notice the brown shirt Lil' C is wearing. He calls it the "waggily shirt". He loves to wear it while we're home over his clothes and even sleeps with it. lol!