photo: Feves for the Gateau Des Rois that I found while brocanting. Tomorrow is Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas. . The Gateau des Rois - King's Cake. 4 cups of grounded almonds and/or hazelnuts, or a mixture of both, 3 cups of sugar, Tons of melted butter to make the almonds mixture thick yet creamy. A drop or two of Grand Mariner, An egg, Some milk, Mix until smooth and try not to eat it raw, Then place the almond mixture on a puff pastry shell, then add another puff pastry shell on top and tuck in the edges, Inside the cake place a small token - feve (a porcelain santon or symbolic object), and a dried fava bean. (In the south of France they add a dried fava bean to symbolizes the cook in the kitchen who is so busy preparing the meal that the fava is accidentally dropped in the Gateau des Rois instead of in the soup pot.) After the cake is baked golden, a gold paper crown is added to the top. The cake is served only in January starting on the feast of Epiphany. Epiphany is a Christian feast day celebrating the Three Kings who find the Christ Child and bear gifts to him. The custom: The cake is served around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, or after dinner. Everyone sits around the table. When the cake is going to be served the youngest in the family goes and sits under the table. The oldest cuts the cake in uneven parts and exactly enough pieces for each person to have one piece of cake. Then the oldest takes a part of the cake, asking the youngest under the table, "Who should have this piece of cake?" The youngest names a person. This goes on until everyone has a piece of cake. When everyone has a piece of cake, the feasting can begin. If you are the lucky one to have the feve in your cake, (without having broken a tooth!) you keep it in your mouth and do not say anything. When everyone has finished their cake, the guessing begins. "Who has the feve? Who has the fava bean?" The one with the feve wins the honor to buy or make next year's cake. The one with a fava bean, is the King or Queen and wears the gold paper crown all evening.
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