In France, people come together on January 6 to celebrate La Fête des Rois, a holiday that commemorates the arrival of the three kings. Together, they enjoy Galette des Rois (King's Cake), a frangipane-filled tart traditionally cut into slices - one for each person at the table.
Traditionally, the youngest person gets to choose who gets each slice. The belief is that the youngest person is the most innocent one so he or she is best suited to help ensure a fair distribution of the cake slices. Why is this so important? Because any of the galette's slices may be the one with la fève (or charm - often a bean or cherry) hidden inside of it. The lucky person who finds la fève in their slice is king (or queen) for the day. He or she can then pick someone to help "rule" with them (or tell their parents and/or siblings what to do that day…). Many bakeries include paper crowns with the galette for the king or queen to gallantly wear in celebration of their temporary place on the "throne."
You can celebrate La Fête des Rois in Chicago on January 6, 2014 (or all January long) with Galette des Rois available at select bakeries in the city and suburbs. It's always a good idea to call ahead to make sure the popular cakes are still available before you head out to get one of your very own.
Where to buy Galette des Rois (King's Cake) in Chicago:
1000 Davis St., Evanston, 847.328.9434
Bennison's Bakery in north suburban Evanston offers its Galette des Rois through early March. And, with one day's notice, the bakery can whip up a prize-filled cake for you at any time throughout the year. Bennison Bakery's cakes feature layers of puff pastry filled with almond frangipane, glazed with sugar and topped with a crown. Each cake costs $17.95.
Toni Patisserie & Cafe
65 E. Washington St., Chicago, 312.726.2020
51 S. Washington St., Hinsdale, 630.789.2020
The Toni Patisserie & Cafe locations in the city and west suburban Hinsdale offer Galette des Rois for the whole month of January. The cakes feature puff pastry filled with almond cream, and include a baby and crown. Each cake costs $17.95.
2229 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773.868.4574
The Galette des Rois are available at Vanille Patisserie until the end of January. Its 8-inch cake includes layers of buttery puff pastry, almond cream and the traditional fève imported from France. The bakery asks that you order your Galette des Rois 24 hours in advance. Each cake costs $28.
5348 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773.561.8919
The Swedish Bakery in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood will begin baking its New Orleans-style Kings Cake today after opening from its brief holiday break. The cakes, which have a cinnamon and almond filling, are topped with icing or sprinkles and colored sugar. The cakes will be available for purchase at the bakery through Easter.
1547 N. Wells St., Chicago, 312.624.9430
2468 N. Clark St., Chicago 773.360.1761
La Fournette's two locations in Old Town and Lincoln Park offer La Galette des Rois throughout the month of January. Their cakes include flaky puff pastry layers with a center of frangipane. Each one comes with a paper crown. A "feve" will be hidden in it upon request.
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