King's cake at Shangri-la Hong Kong
On January 6th and for about a month, the King’s cake is the star of every French bakery.
On my way to Shangri-la Island Gourmet in Hong Kong to meet French pastry chef Alain Grillet, I looked forward to this smell of butter and warm frangipane that teases your sweet tooth.
As I arrived, the perfectly golden galettes were wearing their shiny crowns on display. Alain has been participating in the success of Island-Gourmet for 20 years. The pastry shop was awarded the “Silver Award” in the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic, and the "Best Dish in Dessert" award in the Hong Kong Food Festival Culinary Award (Western Cuisine). After bringing freshly baked galettes, he passionately introduced us to his puffy pastries.
The traditional galette comes from the northern half of France, and is made of puff pastry layers with a dense center of frangipane, says Alain. However, in Provence and South-West of France la galettte is a ring shaped brioche flavored with blossom orange, topped with candied fruits. In addition to these mouth-watering galettes, Alain created a chocolate version of the traditional galette.
The secret for Chef Alain galettes is excellent technical skills and a careful choice of the best ingredients: fine butter from Normandy, almonds from Spain for the frangipane. The success of chef Alain galettes is such that he makes 450 galettes in 3 weeks compared to 30-20 years ago.
Take this opportunity to share it with family, friends, coworkers and follow the traditional way to do it, whichever galette you prefer!
By Camille Baron