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December 17th – the seventeenth day of Advent

December 17, 2008

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

“The Rosca de Reyes, “kings ring” is a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with pieces of candied orange and lime resembling the jewels of a crown.  It is often filled with nuts, figs, and cherries. Into this bread is baked a small plastic doll symbolizing a secure place away from Herod´s army where the infant child could be born. As each piece is cut with a knife, symbolizing the danger in which the Baby Jesus was in, everyone carefully checks their slice, hopping they didn’t get the figurine as they will need to host, Candelaria or Candle mass day. This day, February 2, is exactly, 40 days after Christmas when the Virgin Mary was purified. The nativity scene is put away and the baby Jesus, in the form of a porcelain doll, is clothed in his christening gown and presented in church.”

And here is the recipe:


3 1/2 cups flour
1 packet yeast
3/4 cups of sugar
7 eggs
125 grams butter
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
Dash of salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp aniseed
100 grams raisins
1 tsp vanilla
50 grams candied figs
50 grams candied orange
50 grams candied lemon
50 grams candied cherries
50 grams candied citron
1 beaten egg

Dissolve the yeast in five tablespoons lukewarm milk.  Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk, salt, cinnamon, aniseed, raisins, and vanilla.  Knead into a ball; grease it with some butter and place near a warm stove until the dough doubles in size. (About 2 1/2 hours)  Meanwhile cut into strips the candied fruit.
Knead, banging it down on the floured tabletop, to make it soft and pliable.  Form the dough into a ring or rosca. Insert the baby figurine.  Place the rosca on a greased baking tray.  Decorate it with the strips of candied fruit. Leave the rosca once more to fluff up again. Brush the rosca with the beaten egg and sprinkle over granulated sugar.
Bake for 40 minutes at 360° F in preheated oven.
Enjoy! And don’t forget whomever gets the Baby figurine will have to host Candelaria come February 2!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 17, 2008 5:59 pm

    I welcome any opportunity to extend Christmas holidays in some way. I may have to introduce this one to the family.

    Mmmmmmmmm, this cake sounds pretty yummy to me.
    Don’t forget you have to put hay in the shoes before you set them out, so the camels have something to eat! It is interesting, isn’t it, how all of these stories get mashed together? Hay for camels, hay for reindeer. In Germany they set out shoes or stockings for Santa, in Puerto Rico the shoes are out for the three Kings. The English have a Christmas pudding with a ring in it, similar to the baby in the Kings cake. Speaking of which, I have to make a pudding for Christmas day. I LOVE pudding with hard sauce.

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