It’s a tradition in France that the first Sunday of January we eat a Galette des Rois (Cake of Kings). And it’s not just any pastry, it’s one that promises to crown you King or Queen for the day, BUT ONLY if you are the one who bites into the slice with the hidden feve, a tiny porcelain toy. So you are warned to bite with precaution – it’s no wonder this is the best time of year for dentists.
Crème Frangipane is the filling of this traditional French puff pastry. Two recipes make up the creme frangipane: crème d’amande (almond cream) AND crème pâtissière (pastry cream). Traditionally, the French add rum the recipe.
There are of course variations of creme frangipane like the one I’ve posted here, simply by adding the zests of orange already gives you another perfume and flavour.
The food show, Le Gâteau de mes Rêves – hosted by celebrity Chef Christophe Michalak and sometimes Christophe Adam – on the French channel TEVA, takes us through a lesson on how to make La Crème Frangipane a l’orange and to assemble the final Galette des Rois. The only recipe we don’t see being made is the crème pâtissière. However, the recipe is available on the TEVA website in French, and I’ve included it below in English with added explanations.
RECIPE FOR La CREME FRANGIPANE A L’ORANGE
First, make the ….
Crème Pâtissière de Le Gateau de mes Reves (sur le website TEVA):
125 grams of milk (lait)
1/2 vanilla pod (gousse de vanille)
60 grams of egg yolks (jaunes d’oeufs)
50 grams of caster sugar (sucre)
20 grams of fecule de mais “Maizena” (corn powder)
Note: at Ferrandi we used demi-creme (half fat) milk, the crème pâtissière as a result is full bodied in flavour but so light to eat. And you’ll find the big name patissiers will use half-fat milk (demi), it’s one little secret to today’s French pastry – less fat, less sugar, more in flavour (note by miss pirisi)
Method – Crème Pâtissière de Le Gateau de mes Reves (sur le website TEVA):
Scrape the grains from the vanilla pod, put that to the milk and bring to boil.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. The mixture should be ribbon like. Then add the fecule de mais (corn powder), and whisk until homogene.
Once the milk has reached boiling point, pour a little bit into the egg mixture, and whisk. Now, pour the egg mixture back to the casserole of milk. Begin to whisk quickly. When you see the cream thicken and begins to bubble (boiling point) remove from the heat and pour directly onto plastic film (glad wrap) or a glass baking tray. Cover the entire pastry cream with plastic wrap (cling or glad wrap). Cover in contact which means no air to get through otherwise you’ll have crust forming. Put into fridge to cool. While it’s cooling begin making the crème d’amande.
Second, make the …..
Crème d’amande (almond cream) a l’orange :
120 grams of semi salted butter (beurre demi-sel): cream the butter (pommade)
120 grams of icing sugar (sucre glace): sifted (tamiser)
120 grams of almond powder (poudre d’amandes)
2 eggs (2 oeufs) : adding one by one.
14 grams of corn starch powder (fecule de mais)
zest of 2 oranges (le zeste de deux oranges)
Plus, crème pâtissière prepared earlier stored in the fridge. You’ll be adding this to the crème d’amande.
Method – Crème d’amande:
Place butter in a small bowl and in for a few seconds in the microwave to make a pommade (soft creamy butter). The butter should still have it’s form when you remove from microwave however it will be soft. Now transfer the butter to a larger bowl (you’ll be adding ingredients), whisk the butter until you get a shiny mayonnaise texture.
Add the sifted icing sugar and whisk into butter. Your mixture should be homogene, that is, smooth, no grainy bits, no evidence of butter or icing sugar.
Now, whisk in your almond powder.
Then, add your 1 egg. Whisk.
Add your 2nd egg. Whisk.
Now whisk in your fecule de mais.
Add the zest of 2 oranges. Mix well.
You now have a crème d’amande. To get a crème frangipane, you will mix the crème d’amande with crème pâtissière.
Assemble – La Creme Frangipane a l’orange:
La crème pâtissière remove from fridge (it should be a jelly texture), place in a mixing bowl and whisk well (remuer) to get a smooth creamy texture.
Now, add a little of the almond cream to the crème pâtissière just to dilute. Then, whisk until really smooth (bien lisse). Adding a little more of the almond cream and whisk again.
Now, adding all of the almond cream to the the pastry cream. Mix well until smooth and homogene.
Voila. You now have CREME FRANGIPANE.
Any King will know how much I love taking lessons from Le Gâteau de mes Rêves, but for others who are non-French speakers or non-French residents and are fans of French pastry the show is not so lesson friendly. The show is only available on paid French TV and is broadcasted in French only. There are video snippets on the TEVA website but snippets means you don’t get the full recipe. Nonetheless, celebrity Chef Patissiers like Christophe Michalak and Christophe Adam give those invaluable “les petites astuces”, little tricks and tips to achieving the perfect pastry techniques.
P.S And it was I who was the King of the Day!