La Crème Frangipane for La Galette des Rois (Le Gâteau de mes Rêves)

galette des roisIt’s the perfect time of the year to learn how to make la Galette des Rois.

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.


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.


Galette 2015Any 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.

Miss Pirisi

P.S And it was I who was the King of the Day!

Carl Marletti’s Le Fraisier (recipe incl.)


Miss Pirisi’s second attempt at a Carl Marletti Fraisier recipe with Pate d’amande blanche.

Carl Marletti is a highly celebrated Chef Patissier who today is at the heartbeat of innovative contemporary patisserie in Paris. His boutique alone speaks contemporary: studio lights, sandstone walls, cabinets trimmed with modern lines even his name is written in rounded sans serif, all complimenting the signature work that is Carl Marletti patisserie.

Strawberries in general are expensive. French strawberries are even more expensive, even in France!  And a Fraisier is expensive to make, it’s why a lot of patissiers will stick to making the Fraisier only during the berry season and not all year round. A Fraisier is a wonderful way for patissiers to showcase quality ingredients with their creativity. Clientele demande le Fraisier. Nothing says more than summer has arrived when you see the first Fraisiers in window displays.

The magazine SAVEUR where you’ll find his recipe comes only in a French edition and is available in France only or you can subscribe to SAVEUR. I’ve asked permission to translate and post the recipe in English, waiting on answer.

Miss Pirisi's first attempt at Carl Marletti's Le Fraisier with Pate d'amande fraise.

Miss Pirisi’s first attempt at a Carl Marletti Fraisier recipe with Pate d’amande fraise.

Le FRAISIER MARLETTI published by SAVEURS magazine No.204 September 2013 edition (French) This recipe is translated by me. Individual recipe titles are in English and (French). Anything written in (brackets + italic) are my notes.

Preparation: 2h30 + 2 hrs of refrigeration. For 6 – 8 people.

500 grams of strawberries
200 grams of white (natural) almond paste
Some red fruits (for decoration)

For the biscuit sponge Joconde (Pour le biscuit Joconde) :
75 grams of almond powder
75 grams of icing sugar
20 grams of flour
100 grams of eggs (around 2 eggs of medium size)
70 grams of egg whites (the whites of 2 medium size eggs)
20 grams of granulated white sugar
15 grams of melted butter
Almond shavings (quantity of your choosing)

For the Pastry Cream (Pour la creme patissiere) :
330 grams of milk
70 grams of egg yolks (the yolks of just less than 4 medium size eggs)
85 grams of granulated white sugar
1 vanilla pod
20 grams of Maizena
20 grams of flour (sift together the Maizena and flour)

For the Butter Cream (Pour la creme au beurre) :
75 grams of egg yolks (the egg yolks of around 4 medium size eggs)
180 grams of sugar (not specified)
45 grams of water
360 grams of butter (unsalted we can assume)

For the Kirsch Sirop (Pour le sirop au kirsch) :
125 grams of water
170 grams of granulated white sugar
9 grams of kirsch (cherry liqueur)

The utensils (Les ustensiles) :
– Mixer, handheld or a KitchenAid type
– Cake ring of 12 cm in diameter (to cut the 2 bottoms (or bases) of the Joconde sponge biscuit.
– Cake ring of 16 cm in diameter (to assemble and to cut the almond paste)
– 1 flat plate or thick round cardboard
– 1 thermometre (for cooked sugar)
– 1 gas torch (for caramalising the almond paste)

The Joconde sponge (Le biscuit Joconde) :
In a mixer mix the almond powder, the icing sugar and the flour, then add the eggs little by little and bring it up to a ribbon texture. Leave to the side. Whisk the egg whites and the granulated white sugar to firm white peaks.  Mix delicately the two preparations, add the cooled melted butter. Spread the mixture 1 cm thick on a grill covered with baking paper, now powder it with almond shavings. Place in oven at 180 degrees celcius for around 14 minutes, then reserve at room temperature. Once the Joconde sponge is cooled, cut 2 rounds of 12 cm in diameter with the cake ring. Reserve for the assembling later.

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere) :
Boil the milk with half of the sugar and with one whole vanilla pod split and scraped. During this time, in a bowl, whiten the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar. Then, add the Maizena and the sifted flour. Pour a little bit of the hot milk on the egg mixture whisking at all times, then reverse back into the casserole (just after removing the vanilla pod). Cook altogether whisking for around 3 to 4 minutes after boiling. Remove from the stove, put into a dish and film in contact (“en contact”) and leave in the refrigerator.

The butter cream (La creme au beurre) :
Cook the sugar and water to 121 degrees celcius. During this time, whisk the egg yolks then pour the cooked sugar on the eggs, mixing for around 1 minute. Add the butter piece by piece to obtain a cream that’s smooth and homogene. Whisk until the egg mixture cools down and reserve at room temperature.

The Mousseline cream : (La creme mousselin): Mix with a spatula 500 grams of pastry cream and 450 grams of butter cream together checking that you don’t have any chunks, lumps or grains. Reserve.

The Kirsch syrup (Le sirop au kirsch) : Heat the water and the sugar. Leave to cool and add the Kirsch.

The strawberries (Les fraises) : Remove the tale (green part) of the strawberries and cut in two in the longer direction, then decor the stawberries.


Thin out the almond paste with a rolling pin (about 3 mm thickness), then cut a disk of 16cm in diameter with the help of the cake ring. Now put the cake ring on your chosen support which is your plate or round cardboard for the service – once installed the fraisiar can not be moved to another support, then place the cutted strawberries up against the inner ring. Put one 12 cm diamater biscuit on the bottom, then soak it with the Kirsch syrup using a brush. A the help of a spatula, cover or hide the straweberries  with the cream mousseline to the top of the circle. Place strawberries in the centre. Spread another layer of cream mousseline for cover the strawberries, then place the second biscuit of 12 cm of diametre, soak in sirip of kirsh. Finish by a layer of mousselin cream unitl the top of the circle. Smooth with the help of a spatula. Reserve to cold for 1 hr. During this time, lightly colour (caramelize) the almond paste by torching.Take out the strawberries from cold, remove the circle with the help of a hot knife, then put the disk of almond paste on top. Decorate with red fruits and reserve in cold for 1 hour before serving.

Carl Marletti’s advice
1. Once the ingredients are selected, the secret of succes is the precise weighing of ingredients
2. The joconde biscuit must be spread regularly then powdered with almonds
3. The pastry cream and butter cream mixed only with a spatula using soft calm movements.

Carl Marletti’s wine recommendation: Cabernet-d’anjou

51 rue Censier
75005 Paris
Metro: Censier-Daubenton (pink, line 7)

Miss Pirisi