HAPPY NEW YEAR 2 ALL !!! … with a multi-layered, multi-glazed puff-pastry creation, filled with a chestnut cream mixture and topped with a candied chestnut, but not for today of course but rather for the days around Epiphany coming up on January 6, which is when people most often enjoy a traditional “galette des rois” in many francophone countries while in some other regions of France and other countries, people also eat the “three kings cake” which is like a candied fruit decorated sweet brioche and equally wonderful. We often hide a ceramic "bean" or figurine inside each too !
Is it hard to make ? NO, if you like building blocks like LEGOS (but it will be disks & rings in this case) and NO again if you work with very chilled (almost frozen) puff-pastry and cream fillings that are also frozen into puck-like shapes. Working COLD is the only way to work with puff-pastry.
If you make all 8 servings, you’ll need 8 frozen pucks of chestnut cream filling, 16 small disks of puff pastry, 48 small rings of puff pastry, 8 + 8 smaller decorative puff-pastry disks on top and an egg-white wash as a glue, an egg yolk wash for the 1st golden glaze and chestnut syrup for the the 2nd final shiny sweet glaze. Did I forget to mention the 8 candied chestnuts on top too ?
Yeah, it sounds crazy but this recipe doesn’t require many ingredients but it does require a few kitchen tools like different sizes of pastry rings or pastry cutters and a silicone mold.
The hardest part is figuring out the sizes of the cut-outs and the required rapidity in assembling them because once the puff-pastry warms up, it’s a blobby mess. Keep re-freezing your assemblies as you prepare them, indent them, cut them out and finally assemble them. My advice is to keep enough freezer space free so you can quickly put in and take out 2 baking sheets covered with baking paper on which the puff-pastry will rest and stay firm and chilled.
Another trick is to be careful when assembling them and not getting any egg-white wash (as glue) on any of the cut edges of the puff-pastry won’t bake and rise well.
Another trick is to apply the egg-yolk wash only after the assemblies have partly baked and then bake again and finally apply the chestnut syrup glaze towards the end and bake again. And yes, finally top these beautiful & airy creations with a candied chestnut !
If there’s one dessert you will only make once per year, it’s this one ! But wait until tomorrow to think about it and you’ve digested or sobered up and gotten over the New Year’s Eve meal & festivities.
By the way, this recipe requires a lot of puff-pastry but in the end, you’ll be left with half because of all the cut-outs. Just roll up the remains in a ball, wrap it up and use it for another sweet or savory preparation.
The way I see it, why not begin the first week of 2022 with a bang and lots of craziness since it can’t be any crazier than the last 18 months !
Happy New Year to all & Best Wishes & Happy Epiphany too … :)