When I first moved to Finland I didn’t know what Loppiainen was and simply dismissed it as yet another very welcome day-off. This ignorance lasted for a few years until someone asked me what French people usually do during the “Epiphany” time.
In France, the tradition of Galette des Roi (King Cake) is widely adopted and is a really delicious & fun habit that I really hope my kids can also experience. The habit is to hide a little little porcelain figurine or “la fève” in the warm almond filling for one person to find & be named “King or Queen” of the day! I found that in Finland, there is a similar habit to hide an almond in the Christmas Morning rice Porridge, so in an attempt to mix both cultures, this is my version of the French-Finnish a simple version, inspired from Good food magazine Jan 2008!
We need a crown!!
- 400g ready-made puff pastry (you can use the Iso Lehtitaikina from Myllynparas)
- 2 rounded tbsp jam (my favorite is Apricot from St. Dalfour)
- 100g softened butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 lighly beaten egg
- 100g ground almond + 1 whole almond as “la fève”
- Optional: 2 tbsp cognac or dark rum
- PreHeat the oven to 200C
- Divide the puff pastry in half, roll and cut into 2 equal sizes circles. Put one round on a baking sheet and spread with the jam leaving a 2 centimeters uncovered on the edges.
- Beat together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the the egg, the ground almonds and cognac or dark rum. Don’t worry about the alcohol as it will evaporate as it cooks; of you are concerned anyways, then feel free to omit and replace with orange blossom water or other flavors..
- Spoon the almond mixture over the jam, spreading it evenly. And swirl in a bit of extra jam on top!
- IMPORTANT: this is the step where you add the little porcelain figurine or the almond
- Brush the edges of the pastry with water and place the second piece on top, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.
- With a sharp knife, gently mark the top of the pastry from the centre to the edges in a checker or zig zag pattern. I had extra pastry so I cut a few shape in top. Note that some puff pastry brands require egg wash to make it shiny so check the package’s instructions. Bake in the center of the over for 25-30 mins until golden crisp
When slightly cooled, divide into equal part and and celebrate the Kings & Queen of the day by granting them 3 wishes and letting them wear a paper crown!
As the day was cold and snowy and not everyone has recovered from the their “Flunssa” we had several indoors activities planned, one of them of course was to design the shiny paper crown to be worn by the King or the Queen. But another one was to create these little Paper owls from recycled talouspaperi rolls.
This is how it went:
These were so cute and fun to make! To shape the little owls, simply fold the extremities of the paper roll into to even semicircle to form the head & legs of your owl. I cut one of the tall paper-roll in 3 which gave us 1 Big & 2 small, but you can use different sizes and try out!
Have a great Epiphany day!
Is there similar habits as the Kings’ cake in your country?