King’s bread or Roscón de Reyes is a Spanish cake traditionally baked for the festival of the Epiphany. The buttery sponge resembles a brioche where the dough should be elastic, but still have a soft and tender structure. Its main charm comes from the orange blossom and orange zest in the mixture which give a refreshing scent. Try to find the best orange blossom water possible and avoid artificial ones.
We filled our roscón with a chestnut creme patissiere whipped with cream. The combination of chestnut and citrus is inspired by Pierre Herme’s clementine madeleines with chestnuts.
Roscón de Reyes – King’s BreadCourse: Dessert, FikaCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Medium
215g whole milk, cold
7.5g dry yeast
420g bread flour
170g eggs, cold
20g orange blossom water
Zest of 1 orange
160g unsalted butter, soften
85g golden caster sugar
8.5 fine salt
- Egg wash
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
- The cookie topping
65g unsalted butter
65g golden caster sugar
65g bread flour
- Chestnut cream
3g gelatine granules
232.5g semi skimmed milk
½ vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
45g golden caster sugar
105g unsalted butter
120g chestnut spread (ideally sweetened one from Clément Faugier)
200ml double cream, very cold
15g golden caster sugar
- In a bowl from a food processor, combine bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt and butter.
- Pulse until the mixture’s texture becomes grainy like couscous.
- Add the milk, eggs, orange blossom and orange zest. Pulse until all the ingredients are combined and the dough starts to come together. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover with a cling film and let it ferment for 3 ½ hours in total, including 1 ½ hour bulk ferment at room temperature with a 1 fold after 45min.
- Then transfer the dough in the fridge for the next 2 hours.
- Generously flour the work surface, and transfer the dough.
- Form a 30cm by 15cm rectangle, flour generously and wrap in a cling film.
- Rest the dough in the freezer for 20min.
- Roll out the dough evenly into a 61cm long cylinder.
- Transfer the dough onto a baking tray lined up with a parchment paper and merge both ends of the dough.
- Brush the roscon with the egg wash and place the cookie discs evenly on the top.
- Cover the dough with cling film carefully not to touch it. Proof the roscon for 3 to 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the dough in the oven and bake for 30-35min.
- The cookie topping
- Combine all the ingredients together until the dough is homogenous.
- Roll the dough on a flat surface into a thin rectangle.
- Cover the dough tightly with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour at least.
- Roll the dough between two sheets of baking parchment or plastic zip bag until the thickness is 3mm. Using a cookie cutter, cut out 8 discs. Refrigerate.
- Chestnut cream
- Using a balloon whisk combine egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium size bowl.
- Bring to boil the milk with scraped vanilla seeds in a large saucepan.
- Once the milk is simmering, take off the heat and pour the mixture slowly over the eggs whisking vigorously.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan, and constantly mixing bring it to simmer. The mixture should thicken.
- Take off the heat and add the chestnut cream followed by the butter.
- Incorporate them well into the mixture.
- Soften the gelatine with a little of warm water (about 20ml at 40C).
- Mix the gelatine until it’s completely dissolved.
- Add the gelatine into the chestnut cream and mix well.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the cream very well.
- Once it’s ready, transfer the cream to a bowl.
- Immediately cover it tightly with a cling film to prevent the formation of the top skin.
- Let it cool down to the room temperature and then refrigerate for 2 hours at least.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks stage.
- Add the sugar gradually and whip until the cream will have increased its volume and the structure becomes studier.
- Start adding the chestnut cream into the whipped cream in small batches incorporating extremely carefully. Refrigerate.
- Once the cake is at room temperature, cut it in half.
- Carefully move the top part on the side. Using a piping bag (or just a tablespoon), distribute the chestnut cream evenly on the bottom part of the roscon. Cover the cake and enjoy!