This recipe was adapted, baked, and styled by Ed, I shall be retiring soon!
A cake for Christmas is universal in the European tradition; from stollen, to buche du Noel, via panettone and Christmas cake and with everything else in between, some from of baking for Christmas day can be found on sideboards all over Europe. What is less common is a traditional cake to celebrate the Epiphany; to date, the only one of which I was aware was the French Galette des Rois.
I was therefore very interested to be asked to bake the Spanish equivalent: a Rosca de Reyes – Kings’ ring. It’s a large ring of bread enriched with butter and eggs, flavoured with vanilla and spices, and decorated with dried fruit. When we were in Las Palmas between Christmas and New Year a few years ago, we must have seen them in the bakeries, but not knowing what we were looking at we didn’t take particular notice, which is a great shame as half the fun of Menorca holidays & Majorca Holidays in Spain is immersing oneself in the food.
My only other holiday in Spain was when I spent a week sailing in Menorca in summer, many years ago. Great fun, and while I had an epiphany about my gybing technique, it wasn’t Epiphany with a capital E, and cake wasn’t involved. Great place for a holiday, though.
I was a little nervous about cooking this, as it was actually my first time making an enriched dough bread. However, the end result seems to have turned out pretty well. But perhaps it would be more fun to go and holiday in Spain in January, and buy one from the baker.
A number of bloggers have recently made a Rosca de Reyes, and if you comment and give my cake a score out of 5 (or indeed any of the others), you’ll be entered into a draw for to win £50 worth of products from very.com’s Christmas gifts collection. So please vote give me a mark out of 5 and (click here for mine). If you have already voted you can go back and vote for me, or any others as well. Thanks! I should add in the spirit of openness that the winning blog will win a £500 holiday with Cosmos. Full details of the prize for voters is here.
Recipe: Rosca de Reyes
200g dried fruit
7g sachet yeast
100 ml water
500g strong white flour
2 tsp powdered cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon
3 eggs + 1 for egg wash
Icing sugar to decorate
Soak 150g of the dried fruit in the rum, preferably overnight. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, and let stand for a few minutes. Combine the flour and salt, and add the yeast and water to a well formed in the middle. Beat together the butter, sugar, lemon and orange zest, and then beat in the eggs one by one. Add to the flour mixture, and also add the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix well, and then knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Knead in the dried fruit, adding a little at a time. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, place somewhere warm and allow to rise until doubled in size.
Once risen, knock back, roll out into a sausage shape and form into a ring, and decorate the top with the remaining dried fruit. Place on a baking tray and allow to rise again until doubled in thickness. Beat the last egg and brush over the top as an egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C/Gas mark 4 for 35-40 minutes until golden. Dust over icing sugar, and enjoy!
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