Friday, January 7, 2011

Three Kings, Three Cakes... and counting...

I've told you before but I'll tell you again - the French have a lovely way of beating the post-Christmas blues! Looking at these photos, I realise I could have entered them for a Splash of Colour, they are so jewel-like. That's very appropriate, because the cake is a crown, and is one of three varieties of cake we can buy at this time of the year to commemorate the visit of the Three Kings to the toddler Jesus.
On top of each cake is a paper crown, and inside each cake is hidden a little porcelain figure (watch your teeth!). The figures are called fèves, named after the beans that they obviously replaced at some point in history.
Traditionally, the fèves were models of figures from the nativity story. We still get those, but nowadays you also get characters from films (I broke off Harry Potter's head one year - Bad Mummy!). Can you guess what the fève in this pretty cake might have been?

18 comments:

Jane and Chris said...

It is the Chinese year of the rabbit. So, my guess is a rabbit.
Jane x

marigold jam said...

I remember January in France when diets have to wait till later as every home you visit insists on getting out a gateau des rois which you can't say no thanks to!! I came across my little bag of porcelaine fevres when searching for the tree decorations just before Christmas. Thanks for the memory. No I have no idea do tell!

Jane

Heidi said...

This is interesting...hmmmm. I have no idea, are you going to reveal the figure, please?

VintageVicki said...

My guess is Nicolas Sarkozy - a life size model ;)

BTW - you ought to hang on to your tablecloth and ebay it next year - am sure Coronation stuff will sell well then.

Betty said...

was it a jelly baby? The cake looks lovely and I am curious for the recipe. We are definitely in post Christmas blues here - feeling desperately in need of a colour injection so I bought pink roses today. Your cake would brighten up my kitchen .....

The Vintage Gardener said...

I think it is a rabbit too!

Autumn Mist said...

It looks lovely, but I can't imagine what would be hidden in it. What does it taste like? Any spices in it? Do you slice it or break bits off? It looks like it would taste nice warm straight from the oven.

Serenata said...

Oh the cake looks lovely and how exciting that you get little figurines inside. Hmmm...I wonder what? Something regal?

Hope you all keep well when you come over here, the weather really has been awful. Wow 102 a fabulous age.

Running wild, yes that is certainly how I would describe a lot of the Russian Composers. When you read about the times in which they composed you really understand why and how careful they had to be...so many just 'disappeared'.

*✿* millie meadowsweet *✿* said...

what a lovely traditon. the jewelled cakes and paper crowns are so pretty.
i'm sorry i laughed about harry potters head ;o)

have a lovely weekend xxx

Sarah said...

That sounds so fun and reminds me of our Christmas pudding that had coins in it. Gran didn't put any coins in it again this year, bad lady! I must have words with her. Now the figure could be anything in the world you do realise don't you?! How mean to make us wait. I'll guess it is Dora the explorer then just to be rediculous. Gosh aye?

Lola Nova said...

I believe they have this tradition with the cakes in New Orleans in the states as well.
What pretty cakes indeed.
Now what could have been inside? A mime?

Lavender hearts said...

hello, thank so much for entering! x

You have tickets 49, 50, 51, and 52

magsmcc said...

I'm going to guess Mole from Wind in the Willows, because everyone in Blogville is snuggling down with images of his cosy hole this January, it seems to me! So I am thinking of putting together some sort of Wind in the Willows blog event this month- would you be interested in joining in?

silverpebble said...

Oh what a lovely tradition! They're so lovely! They look rather tasty too. Happy weekend, Floss.

Toby Tea Cozy said...

Oh I love it! I'm a sucker for glazed fruits! We've decided that we'd like to honeymoon in France this summer starting with a romantic three days in Paris, am going to have to lose weight for the wedding just to make room for all the lovely cakes and bread I'll be eating!

Menopausal musing said...

What a delightful post. Funnily enough, I came across some feves at the last Vintage and Handmade fair held locally to me. Such lovely little things......... Thank you for your comment re my interpretation of "A Splash Of Colour" and I totally agree that your photo in this post would have been a beautiful entry.....

Serendipitychild said...

Ooooh I can't even imagine, does the shape/colours give us a clue? Looks delish though.

Carole said...

I could have posted on the previous post but I'm catching up here because I wanted to say that I LOVE the galette that's a little like a brioche with candied fruit ! This is so typical of the south and we used to get those when I was a child, here they are rather "pâte feuilletée" with the almond stuffing, very good too, but I haven't had one like yours in such a long time !
The tradition wants it that you cut your galette according to the number of the family members and the youngest child goes under the table. You select a piece randomly and he attributes it to someone - so totally up to fate as to who gets the fève ! In fact in Alsace we never knew about this tradition, my parents lived in the center of France (we call it the inside of France) and brought it back from there.