For Twelfth Night (Epiphany), the French make a thin, round cake called “Galette des rois.” It’s also called by some “galette de Noël.”
It is a cake made of puff pastry in the shape of a low crown, filled with frangipane.
It is cut into pieces in the kitchen, making sure there is one more piece than there are guests. The pieces are covered with a white cloth and carried to the table for the youngest person to pass out them out. A bean used to be put into the cake, but now it is a small china doll. Whoever finds the doll is the King or Queen, and gets to pick their companion King or Queen.
The extra piece is called the “part à dieu”, God’s piece, and is set aside for the first guest who walks in the door.
See also: Galettes, King Cake, Pithiviers, Twelfth Night, Twelfth Night Cake
In Provence, the cake used to be made of brioche dough.
“Galette des rois” means “cake of the kings”. It is sometimes also referred to in the singular, “Galette du Roi”.