Archive for January, 2007

Happy New Year

Back in France!
Lots of things to tell you!

First of all we wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We started the New Year with a New Look, and a New Web Address – http://www.hbcruises.com/

The New Year with friends on the barge, it was warm and cozy. Often, during the cruising season, people ask me if the open fire really works, so hard to imagine while cruising during the summer. The answer is yes, and it gives a wonderful atmosphere!

Galette des Rois

Galette des Rois

Slowly ‘La France’ started up again on January 2. And already we celebrate another tradition.

In lot of French homes, a ‘galette des rois’ is baked. It is still a very popular tradition and an opportunity for family and friends to gather around the table. The cake contains a lucky charm ‘la fève’ and comes with a golden paper crown.

The cake is served, and the person who finds the ‘fève’ becomes the king and is given the crown. The round form and golden colour reminds of the sun, the days are getting longer!

The ‘fèves’ were beans in the past. But as the tradition was, that the person who found the ‘fève’ had to buy a round of drinks for all the people joining the party, the potential King or Queen often swallowed the bean!
The lucky charm started being made of china and became often a collectionable item.

For those who are not that courageous in the kitchen, the galette des rois is sold in all French bakeries, all over France.

Here I found a recipe on the net: http://www.info-france-usa.org/atoz/galette.asp


January 6, The Feast of Epiphany or Little Christmas, is a holy festival honoring the wise men coming to the infant Jesus. This is one of the most popular eating traditions in France that takes place in January every year. A “fève” – a small china figurine – is hidden in the galette before baking. The lucky guest who gets the fève is crowned king and chooses his queen among the other guests. This takes place all over France in every family, between friends and work colleagues. The children absolutely love the game.

Recipe: Galette des Rois

(Serves eight)


1 1/4 lb frozen puff pastry
2 eggs
7 oz almond paste

Leave the puff pastry at room temperature for about 2 hours until defrosted but still cold. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with baking parchment or grease the pan and lightly sift flour on it. Shake off any excess flour. Roll each sheet of pastry into a circle about 12 inches across.Place one circle on the prepared pan.Mix the egg with the almond paste until smooth and spread the mixture evenly on the prepared circle of pastry, leaving a border 1 1/2 inches wide all around. If you have a small china, insert it into the almond mixture (you may also use a bean as the fève.)  The person who gets the fève is the King or Queen. Place the second circle of pastry on top and press it down tightly around the rim. Beat lightly the remaining egg and brush it on the top of the cake. With a long-bladed knife, press lightly but firmly through the egg glaze marking a crisscross pattern. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and puffed. Do not check for doneness for at least 15 minutes, as the pastry may collapse. Serve slightly warm or cold.

Bon Appétit et a Bientôt!



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