Our special dessert for this month is a sweet treat fit for a king, whose raison d'être is to bring loved ones together.  You can always rely on the French to find an excuse to celebrate an occasion with something delicious, and on the Twelfth Nightthey mark the official end to Christmas with a slice of Galette des Rois. 

Dating back to the 14th century, the galette is traditionally served on January 6th to mark the Epiphany – the day that the Three Kings were said to have arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts and good tidings for the newly born baby Jesus.

Galette des Roisor King’s Cake, is a puff-pastry tart filled with creamy almond frangipane. Served in households and patisseries throughout France, it is hugely popular thanks both to its delicious taste and the charming ritual which accompanies it. 

Each galette traditionally contains a hidden ‘fève’ or broad bean somewhere in the filling, which is a representation of the king. If your slice contains the fève, then you will be crowned king or queen for the day and may demand other guests to follow your regal commands as you see fit! 

The original broad bean reward has now evolved to a somewhat more exciting toy or figurine, often made from porcelain or plastic. Many choose to collect their prized fèves over the years and the enthusiasm to win is shared by adults and children alike. 

The competition to win the fève is understandably heated, and thus the tart must be divided up equally amongst the guests present, as well as leaving an extra, symbolic slice for any unexpected visitor, or poor person, that should pass by. This way, everyone has equal opportunity to “tirer les rois,” – or “draw the king” – from the cake.  

To ensure no cheating occurs, tradition dictates that the youngest child must sit beneath the table during the slicing of the galettand call out the name of the person to receive each slice, so the server cannot be accused of playing favourites!  

The popularity of the tradition has led to the galette being sold throughout the entire month of January, usually accompanied by a paper crown. Leading French pâtisseries strive to make their twist on the recipe, or to design the most unique version 

Whilst there is no crown or fève in our version, you can enjoy this historic French dessert at your local Côte throughout January – sans risk of choking on a fève! Instead, we serve our version with cinnamon ice cream and crème anglaise. 

So, gather your loved ones and celebrate the New Year with a slice of Galette des Rois. You’ll just have to decide for yourselves who should be crowned king.