Royal Holiday Cake Roll

The King’s Ring Cake (Roscon de Reyes) is a traditional Spanish Christmas pastry. It is typically prepared on January 5th, but not exclusively. Often during local holidays, you can find the King’s Ring Cake, which is an aromatic yeast cake filled with delicate cream and decorated with various candied fruits and nuts on top. It’s a very beautiful and delicious festive dessert, and I highly recommend making it. Read on to learn how.

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

10 g dry yeast or 30 g fresh yeast

250 ml milk

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp flour

For the dough:

1 egg

2 tbsp vegetable oil

100 g sugar

1 tbsp dry milk powder

2 cups high-quality flour

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon

For the cream:

800 ml heavy cream (35% fat)

4 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

Decoration:

Candied fruits, nuts

1 tsp anise seeds (optional)

1 tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions:

Preparing the sponge:

Regardless of whether you’re using dry or fresh yeast, it’s essential to prepare a sponge. This not only activates the yeast and encourages it to ferment faster but also serves as a quality check for the yeast. It’s better to spend a little extra time preparing the sponge than to risk poor results later.

Pour a glass of warm milk into a bowl (temperature 35-40ºC, but not higher).

Activate the yeast by adding a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of sugar. Mix everything and leave it for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.

If the yeast is good, fresh, and not killed by overly hot milk, the mixture will quickly foam up and increase in volume several times.

Preparing the dough:

Add an egg, a pinch of salt, and a cup of flour (about 160 g) to the sponge. The dough for the King’s Ring Cake should always be very light, almost white, not yellow. Therefore, do not increase the number of eggs or add turmeric for color. It’s not necessary.

Mix until you get a fairly liquid dough. Cover with a clean cloth and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, soak a teaspoon of anise seeds in 100-150 ml of boiling water and let it infuse.

After an hour, add lemon zest (only the yellow part of the peel), vegetable oil, and another cup of flour to the dough. I also recommend adding 1 tablespoon of dry milk powder. This helps the dough rise better and improves the taste of the pastry. Mix the dough and leave it in a warm place for another 1-2 hours to rise.

Making the King’s Ring Cake:

Sprinkle some flour on the table and place the risen dough on top. Knead it lightly, adding flour gradually. Once the dough is easy to work with, stop adding flour. The dough should not be stiff or heavy; it should be light, airy, and literally breathe in your hands.

Divide the dough into 2 parts. From this amount of ingredients, I usually get 2 cakes with a diameter of 22-24 cm each.

Take the first part, roll out a fairly thick pancake of the required diameter. Place the pancake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a ring, cut out a circle in the center.

Place the ring-shaped pancake in a warm place for proofing, approximately 30-40 minutes.

When the cake has risen 1.5-2 times in size, place the baking sheet in a well-preheated oven. Bake at a temperature of 170-180ºC until done, approximately 30-35 minutes. Monitor the baking process to prevent the dough from drying out or over-browning. Adjust the time and temperature if necessary.

Decoration:

First, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon of powdered sugar with a good pinch of anise seed. Add 1 tablespoon of anise water (strained from the seeds) and mix until you get a light, translucent glaze that can be easily applied with a pastry brush. Adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more powdered sugar or water if needed.

Cover the top of the cake with the anise glaze while it’s still warm. This will give the surface a beautiful shine.

While the glaze is still wet, decorate the King’s Ring Cake with candied fruits and nuts. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Carefully remove the metal ring and let the cake cool. Prepare and bake the second cake in the same way.

When the cakes are completely cooled (it’s best to do this the next day), use a sharp knife to cut each cake lengthwise.

Whip the chilled fresh cream on low speed. When the

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