I've loved the French language since I was a teenager. My dad tried to get me to learn Spanish, articulately explaining how that would be the more useful language to learn, but being the stubborn teen I was, I explained to him that I really wanted to learn French. I took many French classes in high school, which led to me being one of the first students of my high school to participate in a new program - a foreign exchange to France. It was exciting, nerve-wrecking, gleeful, and exhausting all in one, but it was an experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.
I stayed with a French family with a girl named Maude and they lived au centre-ville (downtown) in the city of Besancon. I lived with the family for almost 2 weeks and had the pleasure of experiencing true French culture first hand. I ate what they ate, went where they went - even school. One of my favorite experiences was taking part in a celebration with a "Galette du Roi." Actually, quite a few galettes as the family cooked one nearly every night I was there. I wasn't about to complain - this tasty goodness was to die for, and now that I have the money and capability to bake, I plan on baking one of these every year to celebrate (read eat really good cake).
Now, this ain't your grandma's cake - there's no Betty Crocker mix - no sugary sweet icing...nope! This is a flaky pastry dough filled with a sweet and creamy almond mixture and though it's super simply in it's ingrediants, the taste would say otherwise.
It turns out that my neighbor's dad is actually French, so she's fluent in the French language and though her mom is American, she has grown up with many French traditions, including the Galette du Roi. It made perfect sense, to me at least, that we get together around the beginning of the year to bake one of these bad boys for ourselves. We didn't make the actual day for celebration, but we did manage to get together this past weekend to put together this tasty treat. Wouldn't our parents be proud?
Here's another site with more info on the actual festival and some more yummy shots