This rich dessert was traditionally served to celebrate the Epiphany in France as it was said that the cake was “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. It consists of flaky puff pastry layers, filled to the brim with a dense center of sweetness. Inside it a figurine, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character to a king, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the “king”. Cake and toys, what better way to make food fun!
There is even a traditional way to distribute the cake; the youngest person is to place themselves under the table, and name the recipient of the share. Despite all the finger licking fun, this most royal of desserts is only sold in most bakeries during the month of January but never the less, it remains a wintery favourite.
400g ready-made puff pastry
2 rounded tbsp apricot jam
100g softened butter
100g caster sugar
1 lighly beaten egg
100g ground almonds
2 tbsp cognac or dark rum
1. Heat the oven to 200C/fanC180/gas 6.
2. Divide the ready-made puff pastry in half, roll out each piece and cut into a 25cm round. Put one round on a baking sheet and spread with the apricot jam to within 2cm of the edges.
3. Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Stir in the ground almonds and cognac or dark rum.
4. Spoon the mixture over the jam, spreading it evenly. Brush the edges of the pastry with water, then cover with the second piece, pressing the edges to seal. Mark the top of the pastry from the centre to the edges like the spokes of a wheel or in a zig zag pattern, then brush with beaten egg.
5. Bake for 25-30 mins until crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold with toy embedded.