There are are a lot of things we love about France.
The French helped the United States become an independent country.
They have given us Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux wine, as well as Margret de Canard and Coq au Vin.
France is home to the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Riviera.
It is also the home to some of the best baking on the planet.
We were delighted to sample some of the best of French baking, made right here in America at the Galette des Rois Celebration last month at the French Institute Alliance Francaise.
The Cake of a King??
Galette des Rois (“King Cake,” in English) is an almond flavored puff pastry that is popular in France during the month of January.
According to Executive Chef Eric Bedoucha of Financier Patisserie, the pastry, which has been around since the Middle Ages, began as something that bakers concocted after the holidays and customarily gave to their customers as a gift.
Today, the French give King Cakes as house gifts and eat them throughout January.
While we aren’t sure what the connection to the actual King of France might have been, King Cakes are a luxurious treat, worthy of a King.
King Cakes are concocted mainly from eggs, almond and butter (Chef Bedoucha actually praised American butter at the event).
It traditionally contains a little figurine, often in the form of a baby, called: ” la fève,” hidden in the cake (hopefully it is spotted before you bite down on it)!
The person whose piece of cake has the la fève becomes king for the day and is crowned with a cardboard crown (sold with the cake).
More than One King Of King Cake
The event at FIAF featured a giant Galette des Rois as well as normal sized cakes in both almond and pistachio flavors, all produced by Financier Patisserie.
In addition, a range of French noshes, wine and cider was provided by Le District.
Financier has stores throughout New York City.
The one that operates in conjunction with Le District in the World Financial Center Winter Garden is one of my favorites.
It is a wonderful place to stop for some pastry, as well as a range of French delicacies and grocery items.
If you have a chance to try one of these amazing cakes, don’t pass up the opportunity! It’s a royally-delicious experience!
The King Cake may not be available anymore (check the website) but there are plenty of other delightful cakes on the Financier website and in their stores for Valentines Day to show that special person they are the King (or Queen) of your heart!
About the French Institute Alliance Francaise
The French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) is New York City’s premier French cultural and language center.
In addition to offering language classes in both Manhattan and Brookly, the Institute hosts numerous events including wine tastings, film salons, arts events and lectures.
For more information on the French Institute Alliance Francaise visit www.fiaf.org
To order a delicious King Cakes visit Financier at: https://financierpatisserie.com/index.php