Epiphany recipes: brioche or cake of kings, the alternative to the traditional galette

Certain dates oblige us to make difficult choices ... For the epiphany, we must decide between the pancake and the cake of kings. On the one hand a crispy puff pastry garnished with generous frangipane, on the other a brioche flavored with orange blossom water decorated with candied fruit. Find out everything you need to know about the cake of kings to guide your choice.

Kings cake: the choice of the South

We know the extent of the French culinary heritage, each region has local specialties to feast on at each festival of the calendar. For the Epiphany, it is easier to know what we will eat depending on where we are since France is clearly cut in half: in the North, we pull the kings with a puff pastry garnished with frangipane, while in the south, we prefer the brioche crown decorated with candied fruit. Name may vary by region as it is called kings cake around Toulouse, Bordeaux brioche in Aquitaine, kingdom in Montpellier, etc. But the choice remains well defined depending on the territory: in Paris, nine pancakes are sold for a brioche crown, knowing that the crown with candied fruit is not sold everywhere, while in Toulouse, eight kings cakes are eaten for two flaky patties.

⋙ Our video recipe of the brioche kings cake

Kings cake: the secrets of the recipe

The basic recipe for the crown of kings is identical to that of brioche: a dough is prepared with flour, baker's yeast, milk, egg, sugar, butter, salt and orange blossom water. It can also be flavored with rum, orange zest or olive oil for a Provencal recipe. Traditionally, the cake of kings is decorated with candied fruit, which symbolizes the crown jewels, and pearl sugar. But just like frangipane, candied fruit is not always unanimous, so we can settle for pearl sugar, replace candied fruit with dried fruit, or take inspiration from brioche from Saint-Genix, decorating with pink pralines. And to get a nice crown, it is strongly recommended to use a savarin mold, to make sure you have a clean hole in the middle. In general, the cake of kings is served with a fruit salad or custard.

Read also :

⋙ Epiphany: our galette des Rois recipes

⋙ Galette des Rois: the keys to success

⋙ Our galettes et cakes des rois sans frangipane pour l'Epiphanie

Galette des Rois with custard: a sweet dessert! (July 2020)

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