Tag Archives: Dia de Reyes
Often used as evangelizing tools, celebrations in Mexico feature elements that are charged with symbolism. Take the piñata, for example, used as an allegory of sin (colorful and appealing on the outside, yet hollow and empty on the inside). Still today, during parties, people are blindfolded (a nod to faith being blind) when facing the piñata, which will yield fruits once fought and defeated.
The Rosca de Reyes (cake of kings) is no exception. Even as I type, kids who have been taught to expect the arrival of the three kings or magi, during Epiphany have already gone to bed with the hopes of finding gifts by their shoes when they awake. This festivity marks the culmination of the “12 Days of Christmas”.
Rosca de Reyes is shaped and decorated as if it were a crown. Inside, little figurines representing baby Jesus while in hiding from Herod can be found. Whomever discovers the figurine it their slice of rosca gets to share their good fortune- they will buy tamales for the group on February 2nd, to celebrate the presentation of Christ at the temple.
Without even knowing it, tradition is celebrated and perpetuated in a delicious slice that is typically enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate.
Yanet Hernández Tabiel, owner of “El Deleite”, a bakery in Mexico City, shared her popular recipe with La Vitamina T readers.
- 1 tbsp of yeast
- 5 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of crystallized fruit
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 5 plastic “muñequitos de rosca” (plastic rosca dolls). These can be substituted with large beans.
For the butter crumble:
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Combine the yeast with one of the tablespoons of flour and the warm water. Let rest for 1o mins. or until it’s foamy
- Combine the remaining flour with the sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Add the eggs and the yolks.
- Continue mixing until smooth. Add the yeast and mix until you have a smooth, and flexible ball.
- Add the butter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
- Add the mix in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Keep at room temperature until it doubles in volume.
- Make a dimple with your finger and knead.
- Extend the dough into a rectangular shape, add the crystallized fruit and the plastic dolls. Twirl to form a crown shape.
Crumble and Decoration
- Mix the butter with the sugar, eggs and the vanilla extract
- Decorate the rosca with strips of this mix.
- Glaze your rosca with the eggwash and decorate it with crystallized fruits
- Bake for an hour at 375 degrees or until golden brown
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Anything is possible in Mexico. Think for example, about bringing tacos al pastor to your party with two-days notice. How about a giant piñata to go along? You got it. I giggled with joy when I saw the piñata of my dreams being quickly attached with string to my father´s very compact, city-appropriate car for transportation. My dad, trying to please me, nervously nodded when I excitedly mentioned the delivery truck was unavailable, but we could get a discount if we drove it ourselves…
Car and piñata made it safely.
My husband Enrico´s cultural shock, reminded me that this is not something he has experienced before. This is how I suddenly arrived at the conclusion that growing up in Mexico, where making things happen is a matter of “how” and not “if”, must be what turned me into such an optimist. After all, ¨when there’s a will, there’s a way.”
I had the good fortune to spend my birthday with my family in Mexico over the holidays. Overnight, my mother, sister and father organized a party complete with a mariachi band and over thirty guests. On a variety of levels, Mexico is a country with a solid, effective and reliable party infrastructure.
The issue of food was solved in an instant. No hesitation. Anyone who loves me knows that tacos al pastor had to be the choice. Luckily, pastor happens to be an incredibly portable and popular party staple. The taqueros arrived, set up and conjured these bundles of joy with impeccably choreographed movements. This was a birthday present in and of itself.
Pastor, piñata and pastel scored to mariachi music. This was to me, perfection. What else can a Mexican girl ask for?
Happy birthday to me!