Food

Three Kings Cake

Canadian Living
Food

Three Kings Cake

My sister's family is spending the holidays in Mexico with her Mexican husband's family. Whenever they spend Christmas in Mexico they come back with the story of the party of the Rosca de Reyes. It's their tradition to throw a party on January 6th, also known as Three Kings Day, Twelfth Night or the Epiphany. It is the twelfth day after Christmas and it's a kind of last hurrah of the holiday season. The day commemorates the Biblical story of the Three Kings who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to baby Jesus. In many Latin households, including Mexicans, Spanish and Portuguese, the day is celebrated by eating the Rosca de Reyes. The Rosca de Reyes is a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with pieces of candied orange and lime and is filled with nuts, candied fruits, and cherries. Hot chocolate is traditionally served with the Rosca de Reyes. There is a similar cake eaten by French and Germans. The German version is balls of sweet dough shaped into a circle and the French version is entirely different. It's more like a tart; two sheets of puff pastry filled with almonds. Baked into the cake is a small figurine. In my brother-in-law's tradition, whoever gets the figurine has to buy the bread the following year (although my sister is suspicious as to why her husband ends up with that piece year after year!). I've made a version of this cake using Canadian Living's Portuguese Sweet Bread recipe. This recipe calles for the ring shape to be made by inserting a can or ramekin in the middle, you can also roll the dough into a rope and shape it into a ring pinching the ends together. I added candied fruit, peels and nuts to the dough and then decorated the top with whole candied fruits and added an icing sugar glaze. Don't forget to put in a little dollar store doll in your cake (a whole nut or a coin will do in a pinch) so someone else has to bake it next year!
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Three Kings Cake

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