This classic Twelfth Night cake is served on Epiphany (January 6th), marking the end of the festive season.
In France, it’s known as galette de rois, or King cake because it celebrates the day that the three kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. Although this recipe originates in Northern France, versions of the dish are served the world over.
Traditionally, the cake contains a whole bean, and whoever finds it is given a golden crown to wear. We’ve switched the bean for a blanched almond, in keeping with the rich flavour of the frangipane filling.
Looking for a traditional Christmas cake recipe? Mary Berry’s is an enduring favourite.
- 60g (2oz) butter, softened
- 60g (2oz) caster suguar
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 1tbsp rum
- 60g (2oz) ground almonds
- 500g packet puff pastry
- 1 whole almond
- Beaten egg, to glaze
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Baking sheet
- Gold crown, for serving
Set the oven to hot, gas mark 7 or 220°C. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk and rum and then stir in the ground almonds.
Cut the pastry in half and roll each piece out and cut out a 25cm (10in) circle from each. Roll out the trimmings and cut out several long strips about 1cm (½ in) wide. Place one circle on a baking sheet. Brush water around the outside edge of the circle, and then lay the strips in a single layer around the edge to form a border to help stop the filling from running out.
Spread the filling in the centre, and stick the almond into the filling. Brush water around the strips of pastry and then place the second circle of pastry on the top – press the edges down well. Pattern the edge by pressing down with a finger, and then cutting into the edge with a knife.
Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry, then use the point of a small sharp knife to make semi-circular lines from the centre out to the edge of the pastry.
Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for about 30 mins, or until the pastry has risen and is an even golden colour. Remove the cake from the oven and dust icing sugar over it and then return it to the oven for a further 5-10 mins or until the sugar has melted. Serve the cake warm or cold, with the crown on the top.
Tips for making this Twelfth Night cake...
Make a crown from golden card for the king or queen to wear. This recipe doesn't freeze well, and is best made on the day it's consumed.
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