Taking place on January 6, 2020, Epiphany is a holiday celebrating when the three kings arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. In France, Epiphany– indeed the entire month of January– is warmed by the galette des rois (King’s Cake) tradition. The finder of the fève, the bean or porcelain figurine hidden inside the cake, is crowned King/Queen for the day/night and guaranteed good luck for the next 12 months. In Paris, the pastry chefs get wonderfully creative with their galettes des rois. Here are some of the ones we love this year.
“Lucky Move” by Pierre Hermé and Joaillerie Messika, Paris
For the most sparkling Epiphany, Pierre Hermé got together with Valérie Messika of the jet-set jewelry brand. Here’s the ultimate “bean”, uniting two unique houses, celebrating a centuries-old tradition. Impressive! The fève is a sensual gold and diamond bracelet (worth €1980). There are 15 in the draw; participate when you buy golden Galettes Mogador (€35-€72 depending on size), Infiniment Amande (individual €6.90-€72), Brioche des Rois Infiniment Pralineé Noisette (8 servings €35) from 1-19 January 2020. Good luck! Let us know please.
For his glorious Galette Craquante Guy Martin mixes almond frangipane, fleur de sel, caramel, cashew nuts and cream of cashew nuts, made to order (6 guests). To reserve, Tel: 01 42 96 56 27 or email: [email protected] (€45). There’s sure to be a taste on the special New Year’s Eve menu (€750) at the most romantic restaurant in town, tucked into the stucco arcades of Palais Royal at 17, rue de Beaujolais.
It’s the streusel/crumble effect that’s so delicious on Angelo Musa (World Pastry Champion and MOF) and Alexandre Dufeu’s candied orange, sweet white almond frangipane galette (€56). Order by telephone 01 53 67 65 97 and collect from January 2nd at La Galerie. The ice rink in La Cour Jardin, framed with twinkling Christmas trees, is a magical setting for an ice twirl. As part of the Plaza’s Festive Tea Time at La Galerie, sip soothing drinks matched exquisite cakes and complimentary entry to the rink for two children. Book Festive Tea Time – €60 per person. Until February 1st from Wednesday to Sunday 3pm-7pm.
Left bank based Jérome Laurent and Paul-Arthur Berlan are champions of terrines and delicious pâtés en croute. For Epiphany (until 15 January) the irresistible Pâté-tourte des rois is a royal treat (with a medieval charm tucked inside) of black truffles, duck and foie gras – to share, or not! From €42 (4/6 wannabe Kings) to €78 (8/10)
Cédric Grolet (who just launched his eponymous pastry palace, 35, avenue de L’Opera, 2nd) taps into the arty creativity of Studio Harow for the bean (a glinting golden shield). Grolet’s 100% cereal wheatsheaf crown is set with Swarovski crystals! Go to Instagram @cedricgrolet where all will be revealed. Available hot from the oven, by this talented bespoke pastry chef, from 3-12th January, 2020 and chez La Pâtisserie du Meurice par Cédric Grolet, from Tuesday-Sunday €52 (6/8 people) and Restaurant Le Dalí, €16 a crumbly, warm slice.
Sébastien Gaudard x Christine Phung
The chef and the designer (Léonard creative director) celebrate Epiphany showcasing their favorite, can’t-live-without daily objects (chewing gum, aspirin, key, pencil sharpener, pencil, button, a nut (as in nuts and blots, obvs). “It’s wacky and different,” they smile. Voted “Best Galette des Rois” by Figaroscope and L’Express, it’s yours – chocolate, almond cream, or almond cream & Martinique rum – from €24 (for 4) at 22 rue des Martyrs, 9th and 1, rue des Pyramides, 1st
Order from the signature Galette Collection, find the fève buried in 20 of them, and win an Atelier Session with Mâitre Chocolatier Richard Sève. Choose from Red Praline, Frangipane Traditionelle, or Chocolate Frangipane (from €18-€59.90) + 3 feves €14 or a box of 15 €64.80. The fèves are collectors pieces, a tribute to objects exhibited at MUSCO (Musée du Chocolat de Lyon).
The Peninsula, Paris
“Put this in the oven to melt the hazelnut nougatine,” advises Peninsula pastry chef Dominique Costa. There’s hints of fleur d’oranger – the topping’s crystalized hazelnuts (€52). Limited edition of 52 to order 48 hours in advance and collect from The Peninsula Boutique located in Gallery Kléber opposite the bar (open daily from 10h-21h). Tel: 01 58 12 67 72 or email: [email protected]
“This year to twist the traditional recipe we’ve come up with version 2020 consisting of flaky pastry made with churned Poitou butter, cream of almonds with pistachio and raspberries, delicious and refreshing,” says Kayser. Available in all Kayser boutiques from 27th December – (€28 for 6 galet-o-philes) Choose your own fèves €25 for a 6-pack.
François Perret, with Ritz Chef Boulanger Stéphane Olliver invite you to the Ritz Chalet, Place Vendome, open daily until 5 January, 2020 from 3pm-8pm. Also available at Bar Vendôme. (€49 for 6) And, cherry on the galette, 3 marzipan and almond flaky pastry galettes contain golden fèves; 3 fortunate fev-o-philes will win a Ritz brunch for 2 (value €300). They just have to call 01 43 16 45 45 to claim their prize, before 31st January, 2020. It’s good until 30th June 2020.
Filled with a soft almond, lemon, wheat, hazelnut and light chocolate cream, this brioche style “galette” conceals/reveals two beans: one classic, decorated with motifs illustrating the ingredients, plus a real bean – to respect the tradition of this fine festive moment (€30). “Gaston Lenôtre would approve, he loved working brioche,” recalls Guy Krenzer, Chef de la Création at Maison Lenôtre. Taste the collection from 2nd-19 January at the Galette Bar, 10 rue Saint Antoine, 4th available – and between these dates – at all Lenôtre boutiques or online.
“A salute to the forest”, says pastry chef Pascal Hainigue presenting a Galette des Rois of inverted puff pastry caramelized with brown sugar, almond frangipane cream lightly flavored with pine needles, praline almonds and toasted buckwheat. Forest flavors and crispy texture give this galette the perfect fireside vibe. Order from 3-11th January, 2020 (€48 6-8 kings/queens) or pop in to the Burgundy Bar Le Charles or the Restaurant Baudelaire and match with a cocktail/mocktail or flute of champagne.
6-8, rue Duphot, 1st. Tel: 01 42 60 34 12
A good excuse (as if you needed one) to pop into Conticini’s new Passy boutique. Fragrant grilled almonds are the key to the “roi of the sweet treats” galette. The precious porcelain “super kings and queens” are designed with Degrenne “table art specialists.” Take them back to the boutique and claim your surprise prize – one very special bean holds the key to a unique experience with PC himself. From 2nd January, 2020. Single – feeds 2 – €12 – for 6- €36 – and 8 – €44. 42 rue de l’Annonciation, 16th
Pastry cheffe Nina Métayer (formerly at Café Pouchkine) uses Charentes-Poitou AOP butter, frangipane almond cream and cinnamon for the galette inspired by Notre Dame de Paris and created in collaboration with pastryman Julien Abourmad, co-founder of The French Bastards (€40). Limited edition from January 4, 2020
The French Bastards Bakery
61 rue Oberkampf, 11th
Rendezvous at 11am for daily street theatre when artisan Yann and his brigade reveal their daily bake. Look for this acorn-shaped frangipane and hazelenut beauty (4/5-€24)
23 bis rue de Rosiers, 4th
Need to know
French etiquette and history oblige: At the Elysée Palace, President Emmanuel Macron is served the traditional galette – without charms, beans or figurines! A palace spokesman would not confirm that Madame Macron has her own private galette.
Happy and delicious 2020!
Want to be inspired by more French foodie experiences and enjoy classic French food, wine and recipes? Head to our sister website, Taste of France, here.
Lead photo credit : Galette Mogador by Pierre Hermé