Friday, 6 January 2012

Three wise men cake recipe

Photo by
Los tres reyes magos  (Three Wise Men)  were, according to Christian beliefs, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition. In Spain (and also in some South American countries and Mexico) the 6 of January is the time for the children and families to receive gifts almost in the same fashion like Santa Claus. You first need to write a letter to the three wise kings, and the 5th of January eve before to go to bed you need to get ready some drinks or food for the three kings and some water or grass for the camels. If you have been a good boy all year at the 6th of January morning you can receive some gifts, if you were bad boy charcoal is awaiting for you.

Three Wise Men parade yesterday in Madrid. Photo by
For more than 120 years also is traditional in almost every respectful town have a parade the day before where the three wise kings represented most of the times for local authorities throw to the kids and public candies for let know everybody that they are in town.
After all the illusion, some anticipation and emotions that create to see the 3 kings and open the present nothing better after all the excitement of the 6th of January than to  share a “Roscon de Reyes” (cake of the kings) with the families and friends. The cake of the kings if one of the most expected seasonal foods in the Spanish calendar of sweet confections. Unfortunately and like is usual the food industry has converted this cake in a bomb of trans-fat, excessive calories and full of artificial flavours.

 Most of the best bakery have their own version, but even they can be very good are not cheap. Since last year blog leader webosfritos and Robin Food publish online, easy to make and tasty recipes, seems like much of Spanish families are cooking more and more this famous cake looking for the old tasty flavours.

Cake of the King’s recipe

My home made king´s cake
Difficulty: Passion and care. Time: Base dough 10 minutes. Main dough 5:30 hours. Ring Dough 2:30 hours. Cooking 20 minutes. Kcal: Around 200kcal by piece.

You need:  
Base dough:  70g whole milk (lukewarm)  - 10g fresh yeast - 1 tsp. caster sugar – 130g strong flour

Main Dough: 60g whole milk (lukewarm) – 70g softened butter (cubed) – 2 eggs – 20g fresh yeast – 25g orange blossom water - 450g strong flour – Pinch of salt.  120g icing sugar – ½  grated lemon skin – ½ grated orange skin.

Decoration:  2 beaten egg – vanilla sugar – candied orange peel and/or candied fruit –
Surprise: The 3 wise king cake always came with a surprise, traditionally was a hidden broad bean in the dough; today a small plastic figure (religious or popular cartoon character). The finder of the figure will be the king of the day .

1. Mix in a bowl the icing sugar with lemon and orange skin. Set aside.
2. For the base dough mix in a bowl the lukewarm milk with the 10g of fresh yeast, dissolve and add the sugar. Then add the flour, mix very well and make a dough creating a ball shape. In a big clean bowl full of lukewarm water put in the dough ball in the centre and wait around 10 minutes until the ball float. Now is ready to use. Set aside
3. Now we can start with the main dough.  First in a big bowl mix the lukewarm milk, 20g fresh yeast and dissolve very well.
4. Sift the flour in and add the butter, eggs, salt, orange blossom water, pinch of salt and the mix of icing sugar with grated orange and lemon skin. Mix a bit. Then add the base dough to the bowl and mix all very well and quickly.
5. Grease or oil a working surface and move on the bowl mix. Let rest 3 minutes.  Grease or oil your hands and start to make dough, by hand will take around 10 minutes until you have elastic dough.

King´s cake lifted dough
6. In a warm dish or bowl let rest the dough between 4 and 5 hours in a warm room temperature until the dough has duplicate their size. If you don’t have a warm environment, pre- heat your oven until 50ºC. Turn off and after 15 minutes put your dough in. In any case cover your dough with a cling film or a cloth
7. After the dough has duplicate it´s size, remove very careful the airy dough from the bowl. Now you can split the dough in two or just make one very big using all the dough. In any case work for 2 minutes the dough for remove some air from the dough. Then let rest for 10 minutes in a working surface. Cover with a cloth.

Traditional ring shape
Brushing the kings cake

8. Now is time to give the dough the classic ring shape of the kings cake, for that poke your fingers through the centre of the dough to make the ring shape and carefully rotate the dough with your hands to even out the size of the ring. (Watch video minute 20)
9. Set the ring in shallow grease oven try (or oven paper). Let rest for 2 minutes or 3. If shrink a few just expand the ring again. Now is time to hide the surprise in the ring.
10. With a brush carefully coat the entire ring with the beaten egg. Don’t push too hard the brush or the dough can go down.
11. Cover the dough with a light cloth or kitchen paper and let rest for 1:30 to 2 hrs. until the ring has double up its size.
12. After the 2 hours, preheat the oven at 200ºc

Decorated King´s Cake Ring
13. Again coat with beaten egg very careful and decorate with the candied orange or candied fruit, sprinkle some flake almonds and vanilla sugar. You can use also some normal sugar just wet.
14. Put the king’s ring in the oven for 18-20 minutes. In the last 10 minutes drop the oven temperature to 180ºC and cover with foil paper for avoid to get too dark. Cook until golden brown. Remove from the oven ald let cool down in a rack.
15. Serve with a hot chocolate (traditional)  or with a nice lady grey cup of tea!

Note: If you don't find fresh yeast, you can use dry. 5,5g of dry yeast is equal to 16g of fresh yeast.