Three Wise Men

I thought I’d write one last post on our holiday traditions here in Spain. On January 5th in the afternoon, there’s always a parade across town (or the city) and the Three Wise Men and a lot of other characters and cartoons throw out candy to small children. After that, my parents usually host a get together with friends and serve hot chocolate and roscón de reyes for everyone. I didn’t go this year, nor did I get the chance to eat the roscón my mom made but everyone told me it was delicious. I did, however, try a bit of the hot chocolate the next day and it was, indeed, wonderful!

After the parade, the night on January 5th, the Three Wise Men give gifts to everyone, like Santa Claus does the 24th of December. We wake up the 6th of January and a lot of families have more roscón for breakfast and open their presents! My family usually gathers at my aunt and uncle’s home and have one last lunch together to end the holiday season. This year we also did a gift exchange like I mentioned yesterday.

As you can see, we have quite a busy holiday season here: we celebrate both Christmas Eve (dinner) and Christmas Day (lunch), New Year’s Eve (dinner and a lot of people go out) and New Year’s Day (lunch), and finally on January 6th a lot of people (but not all, depending on the area) gather for lunch one last time. On top of that, some have lunches or dinners with different groups of friends and at work. That’s a lot of eating celebrating!

So, here’s the hot chocolate and roscón recipe my mom did. You should try it with a bit of whipped cream.

Roscón de Reyes (Three Wise Men Bun)

For the chocolate:

  • 2.64 quarts (2.5 l) whole milk (you could also infuse a vanilla bean in the milk if you wanted to)
  • 12 oz (350gr) aztec chocolate mix, the ones used to make hot chocolate (it has a bit of starch)
  • 9 oz (250gr) good quality chocolate like Valrhona
  • panela or muscovado sugar, to taste
  • 2 Tb (25gr) butter
  • 1/4 quart (0.25l) whipping cream
  1. Bring the milk to a simmer.
  2. Add the chocolate and the sugar you’ll be using, stir constantly.
  3. Finally add the butter and the cream, keep stirring over low heat.
  4. Let it rest for a while, it’ll taste better!

For the roscón:

Recipe adapted from Robin Food

  • 140gr starter dough (90gr all-purpose flour + 50gr whole milk + 2gr baking soda, mix all ingredients and let it rest for approximately 3 hours at room temperature)
  • 120gr infused whole milk, with a bit of rhum, citrus, cinnamon and orange flower water
  • 340gr bread flour
  • 70gr white sugar
  • 15gr bakery baking soda (the one that’s “pressed”)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60gr butter
  • 3 tsp rhum
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water
  • Lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Candied orange, lemon, or lime peels or slices, and sugar or sliced almonds to decorate
  • Slightly beaten egg, to brush the dough and obtain a golden color
  1. Preheat oven at 390-430ºF (200-220ºC).
  2. Infuse the milk with citrus peels and the cinnamon until it boils, let it rest several minutes.
  3. Add the rhum and the orange blossom water; once it’s warm, take half of the infusion and add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add the starter to the flour, baking soda, salt, citrus peel, eggs, and the liquids. Mix and knead well (for at least one minute).
  5. Add the butter onto the dough and keep kneading for about 10 minutes. When you add the butter the dough will become sticky, you should keep kneading until it’s not sticky anymore. Trust me, it seems like it’s going to be sticky forever but then it gets soft!
  6. Let it rise for about an hour, until it doubles in size.
  7. Before shaping it like a large doughnut, give it a “massage”. Then punch a hole in the middle and shape it.
  8. Brush it with egg and let it rest on the baking sheet you’ll be baking it on for another hour, until it doubles in size again.
  9. Brush it again with egg and decorate with citrus peels, sugar and almonds.
  10. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate!

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Three Wise Men

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