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Oct 23, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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By the Book: Hubert Keller’s Souvenirs by Hubert Keller and Penelope Wisner

December 2nd 05:12pm, 2016

BTB_Nov16_Round3_1

 

Paging through Hubert Keller’s memoir/cookbook is intimidating. The man grew up in a kitchen in France. He’s cooked on more continents than I’ve been to. He’s served presidents and is apparently really into DJing (actually that last one made him more approachable thanks to goofy photos of him spinning with some guy named Frenchy Le Freak).

There are some seriously daunting recipes. I wasn’t going to make brioche dough, pastry cream, poached pears and a glaze all for one dessert. But further reading turns up milkshakes and a beer burger, too. The book is about his life, which hasn’t taken place entirely in fine-dining kitchens.

I chose to make the appropriately French but delightfully simple Galette des Rois – the traditional French king cake made with puff pastry and a rich almond filling. I’d made this seasonal dish before, but Keller’s recipe was better with a nice rum addition to the filling and an egg yolk wash that made the pastry brown and glisten (all my egg washes will be yolks-only from now on). The cake is practically done for you with frozen puff pastry – I’ll definitely make this again.

Skill level: French. Some recipes are simple with big payoff, but some are fine-dining level and could be prohibitively complicated for home cooks.
Other recipes to try: Spicy sesame kettle corn, poached pear brioche galette
The verdict: Keller and the three kings rule.

 

BTB_Nov16_Round3_2

 

Gallette des Rois/ Three Kings Cake
Serves about 8

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks, divided
1 cup finely ground almonds
2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2 Tbsp. dark rum
1½ lbs. puff pastry, divided
1 dried dean or 1 peeled baby carrot
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

• In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the whole egg and 1 of the egg yolks until smooth. Stir in the almonds, 2 tablespoons flour and rum until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate.
• Brush an ungreased baking sheet very lightly with water. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll 10 ounces of the pastry until 1/16th inch thick and trim into an 11-inch circle. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Mound the almond filling on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Press the dried bean into the filling. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 egg yolks with 1-teaspoon water. Brush the border with a little of the egg wash.
• On a lightly floured work surface, roll the remaining dough until 1/8-inch thick and trim into an 11-inch circle. Lay it over the filling and press the top and bottom pastry layers together to seal. Trim the pastry so the edges are even. If you like, make a scalloped border all the way around: with your thumbnail facing toward the cake, press your thumb down onto the pastry border. Position a teaspoon on one side of your thumb and pull the pastry back toward the cake with the spoon, snugging it up nicely. Move your thumb to the opposite side of the scallop and repeat all the way around to form a deeply wavy, decorative edge. If the dough warms too much and becomes soft and sticky, refrigerate the cake to allow it to firm up.
• Brush the egg wash over the entire top of the cake. With the back of a paring knife, without cutting into the pastry, draw a decorative pattern of cross-hatched lines or petals by marking sets of curved lines like open and closed parentheses.
• Chill the cake while the oven preheats to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce a few holes through the pastry to allow steam to escape and dust the top with the powdered sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the cake is firm, shiny on top, and toasty brown, about 5 minutes. If the sugar has not melted, run the cake quickly under a very hot broiler to finish glazing. Serve it warm or at room temperature. The cake is best served the same day it is baked. Any leftovers can be rewarmed gently before serving.

Reprinted with permission Andrews McMeel Publishing

By Heather Hughes

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