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So this time, it was back to puff pastry. I can tell you in the heat of a tropical summer this is no easy feat. The freezer becomes my best friend…in goes the dough, board and rolling pin…the whole lot…it’s the only way.
With this homemade puff pastry we made a delicious French pastry Gateaux Pithivier also called King’s Cake with a small token traditionally baked into the almond filling. Whoever gets the token in their slice is King for the Day!
I just used the freezer to keep everything very cold in the hope to combat the ferocious heat we have been experiencing.
I used half of the dough to roll out and cut two 9 inch rounds for the Gateaux. The remainder is chilling in the freezer until I decide what I will make with it.
This is the recipe for the Frangipane however I found it not firm enough so added a little more ground almond and a spoonful of plain flour. For this purpose I think the frangipane should be refrigerated overnight so that it firms up.
1½ cups blanched almonds ( which I weighed to be 225g), toasted
⅓ – ½ cup (65-100g) granulated sugar, depending on your sweetness preference
4 Tbsp. (55g) butter
2 large eggs
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract
zest from 1 lemon or ½ an orange or 2 tangerines
2 Tbsp. Armangac or Rum.
To make the frangipane, grind the almonds. Mix the ground almonds with the remaining ingredients. If necessary, add a little more almond meal to thicken to that the paste can be shaped into a 6″ disc. It will be fairly loose. Chill at least 30 minutes.
PReheat the oven to 180C/350F
Spoon enough of the frangipane in the centre of your round leaving about 1 inch of dough all around. Brush the dough with egg wash and centre the second round of dough over the frangipane and press firmly to seal.
With a small sharp knife cut a decorative pattern on the pastry only cutting partly through the dough. With the back of your knife mark all around the edges to give a scalloped effect.
Bake in your preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until well risen and browned. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and place under a grill to caramelize and brown the sugar giving a glossy surface.