Day of the Kings Epiphany Cake
The Day of the Kings Holiday Loaf is a classic Post-Christmas treat in Mexico. As early as the first days in January (and sometimes even earlier!), a delicious, sugary aroma wafts from Mexican bakeries out into the streets, with an enticing scent that comes once a year, not unlike the one that celebrates the Day of the Dead.
The Day of the Kings Holiday Loaf symbolizes the passage in the Bible’s New Testament that refers to the visit of the Three Wise Men or Maggi, who travel to Bethlehem following a star and place exquisite gifts at the feet of Holy Baby Jesus. The elliptical, round shape of the loaf brings to mind the infinite circle of the Love of God, while the crystallized fruit strips allude to the crowns of the three kings.
Although this tradition was first observed in Europe, as time went by, the Mexican version has evolved until reaching a most particular consistency and flavor.
We invite you to try this recipe at home and enjoy it with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
Day of the Kings Holiday Loaf
400 grams all-purpose flour
200 grams melted butter
100 grams sugar
15 grams yeast
1 cup caramelized fruit strips, for decoration
1 tsp. orange essence drops
2 miniature figurines to hide inside the loaf
7 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
In a deep bowl, mix the yeast with ¼ cup lukewarm water.
Add half the amount of flour and knead until you form a ball with the dough. Place on a large plate and cover with waxed paper. Let stand until it has expanded to twice its size.
In another large bowl, mix the remaining flour with the eggs, the orange essence drops, yolks, melted butter, sugar and salt.
Add the fermented dough (the one with the yeast) to the above and mix until you achieve a unified piece of dough.
Let stand on a covered plate for six hours at room temperature.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Centigrade.
Take the dough and make two round loaves in the shape of large doughnuts. Place the loaves on a large baking tray, having hidden the small figurines inside without leaving a trace.
Bake the loaves for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven, decorate with the caramelized fruit strips and enjoy!