Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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galette is a flat, round cake made with pastry dough (short crust or puff pastry) and sometimes filled with rich frangipane. See frangipane. There are many kinds of galette, the most famous being the galette des rois (king cake) that dates at least to the Middle Ages. The galette des rois that is traditionally served on Epiphany contains a hidden bean or porcelain figure. The guest who gets the slice of cake with the bean is the “king” of the day or the feast. P. J. B. Le Grand d’Aussy writes in Histoire de la vie privée des Français (1782) that the galette des rois (also called a gâteau à fève, bean cake) was served on any joyous occasion, such as a baptism. He also writes that hot galettes were sold in the streets, and that “galette chaudes” was one of the famed street cries of Paris in the thirteenth century.