New Year King Cake

In January my French friend Arnaud usually presents a Galette des Rois to share out.  The youngest person sits under the table (optional) and shouts out the names of those gathered in random order  to receive a piece of cake.  The lucky person who receives a slice with the ceramic charm in it is ‘king/queen for the day’ and is granted special privileges – like getting out of the washing up!

Due to unforeseen skiing accidents this year i made a King cake for Arnaud!  It uses a Pam Corbin recipe for River Cottage handbooks and it was really good.  A light and very almond flavoured cake.

8″ cake

15 glace cherries – washed of the sticky stuff and cut into halves

75g plain flour – sifted

150g unsalted butter, soft

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

150g ground almonds

approx 2 tbsp milk

For inside the cake a cake charm or nice clean coin

icing sugar for dusting

150-200g Marzipan for the lattice top


1) Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 4

2) Beat the butter until light and creamy in a bowl, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time with a table spoon of flour to stop curdling.  (Curdling makes the cake more dense and i put in one to start with to make sure)

5) Use a metal spoon to gently fold in the remaining flour.  Fold in the almonds and then enough milk for a soft dropping consistency (holding the spoon up and tipping it slightly the mix should gently fall off)

6) Grease and line the tin and put the mixture in, leveling with the back of the spoon – plop in the charm

7)  Dust the worktop with icing sugar and roll the marzipan out to 5mm thickness.  Cut into strips 20 cm (8″) by 1.5cm and then use these to make a lattice on top of the cake

8) put the glace cherries into the spaces in the lattice ta da!

9) Bake for 45 mins or until a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean

And Arnaud was the one who found the coin so that all worked out well then!



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