Lindsey wrote this post back in 2015, right after we first started this blog. She hadn't been home from her mission in France very long and she was excited to talk about the extension of the Christmas holiday that she got to know very well while there. You may have heard of 3 Kings Day, celebrated on January 6-7th. It is a holiday in Europe. In France it is called Epiphany. It has to do with the three wise men coming to see Jesus after he was born. Many people don't realize that the Wise Men didn't arrive to see the Christ child until much later than the shepherds, as they followed the new star that appeared in the heavens on the night of his birth.
So how do Europeans celebrate Epiphany? They bake a cake, with something inside it called a "feve" (because it used to be a fava bean.) After it is baked, someone hides under the table and tells you who to serve the slices to, everyone then eats their slice and the person who finds the feve gets to be king or queen for a day.
Basically it is an excuse to eat cake. There are a few different versions of king cake floating around France (and I am sure the rest of Europe, but here at Three Winks we only care about France.Ha Ha) My favorite is the brioche. Don't ask me to describe what the cake tastes like in English, because I can't. It is cake. What more do you need to know?
I got this King cake recipe from my favorite French super baker tartelette, and I just made a few adjustments, because I don't generally have orange blossom flower water lying around the house. (I know, I need to be better.) So I made it with a mixture of the pure vanilla extract that my sister in law's mother made and almond extract (to remind you of the other type of king cake, frangipane, that has almond paste in it.) If you are as cool as tartelette, use the orange blossom flower water. The woman is French after all so she knows what she is talking about.
Want to see some pictures?
After it was all baked... I went to bed because it was super late. The next day after my oldest niece and nephew got home from school I sliced it up. My niece Shyanne hid under the table and called out who got which piece. My sister in law Korina ended up with the feve and got to be queen for the day. She was happy because she asked if the queen gets a foot massage and I said yes, but not from me.
Good thing she has four kids and a husband to take care of that.
So, king cakes. They are a fun little tradition, and you get to eat cake!
Check out tartelette's blog for her king cake recipe and try it out! Happy belated Epiphany!
Here are some ideas for favors if you need them!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!