Rosca de Reyes

 Rosca de Reyes or King's Cake is traditionally baked on January 6th to celebrate the Christ Child and the arrival of the Three Wiseman, bearing gifts of gold and Frankincense and Myrrh.  A ceramic baby Jesus is baked inside the cake and whoever gets the figurine in their slice of cake is obligated to throw next years party.

 This recipe is from the cookbook Frida's Fiestas by Diego Rivera's daughter, Guadalupe Rivera, and is usually served with Mexican hot chocolate.

Rosca de Reyes
From "Frida's Fiestas"
Recipes and Reminiscences of life with Frida Kahlo
By: Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle 1994

3 1/2 Cups flour
1 envelope active dry yeast, dissolved in 5 tablespoons warm milk
3/4 Cup sugar
7 eggs
4 1/2 ounces butter, softened
1/4 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small porcelain doll
3 ounces dried figs, cut in strips
1/2 cup candied cherries (I left these off)
1/2 cup candied orange, cut in strips
1/2 cup candied lemon, cut in strips
1 beaten egg

Mound the flour on the counter or in a bowl and make a well in the center.  Fill the will with the softened yeast, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and a pinch of salt, the cinnamon, anise, reasons and vanilla. Mix into a dough and knead for about 20 minutes until the dough pulls away from the center.  Shape the dough into a ball.  Brush it with softened butter, and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, until doubled in bulk.

Place the dough on a floured surface, knead lightly, and shape into a ring.  Poke the doll into the dough and arrange the ring on a buttered baking sheet.  Decorate the ring with candied fruit and let it rise again for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk.  Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a preheated 275 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until done.  You know the rosca is done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

Photos By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman
Feliz Navidad Magazine - The Santa Fe New Mexican