Conchas Mexican sweet bread

I bake conchas for the first time and they turn out delicious. From all bread I made lately these mini conchas are at the top, they turn out soft, spongy, not too sweet and with a really nice flavor . Conchas (Spanish for sea shell) is a traditional sweet bread from Mexico with a sea shell shaped topping. Forgive me but mine are shaped with hearts because were for my kids Valentine’s Day celebration.

M5cake.com Conchas sweet bread1

Conchas are one of Mexican’s favorite treats consumed as breakfast or for merienda (late supper) with coffee or a hot chocolate. Mmmmm . . .

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I’m back with the Day of the Dead celebration!!!! ya regrese . . . no estaba muerta andaba de parranda Dia de Muertos

I spend months crying because all my 2012 posts get lost. One day at the end of June they just disappear and to add to the drama the back up I supposedly had . . . didn’t work. This blog is my hobby but still is a lot of work and time that get lost. I finally stop my lament because my followers in Facebook keep growing even though I’m not posting anything new since this happen. Thank you to all of you !!!!!.  So to close that horrible episode in my blogging life I will re post in the near future some of the cakes and cookies that get lost (you can still find all the pictures on my flickr account), but for now let’s celebrate “El Dia de Muertos” (Day of the Dead) . This is a celebration that really get close to my heart when I moved away from my hometown in Mexico. Is a beautiful tradition that honor our love ones that left before us . . .

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Three Kings Bread – Rosca de Reyes

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Today is Three Kings Day which in Latin America is considered the last day of the Christmas season. So every January 6th in Mexico, families and friends all across the country gather around their tables to share the Rosca de Reyes. This ring-shaped bread has a very distinct orange flavor and is decorated with pieces of candied fruits including figs, citron, orange, cherries and fruit leather know as “ate”. Hot chocolate a must have drink with the rosca .
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The rosca is baked with a small plastic figurine inside that symbolizes the hiding of baby Jesus from King Herod’s troops. The fun begins when each person cut his or her slice, according to tradition the person who finds the figurine, is responsible for buying tamales for the dinner party of El Día de la Candelaria on February 2. At least you only have to buy them, in the past you were suppose to cook the tamales yourself.
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Now let me share with you my experience, after looking and searching several recipe in the web I picked this Rosca de Reyes recipe.  First let me tell you that making bread is really a hard work. On the other hand it is really rewarding to create something from scratch and I really enjoy it. The results in terms of flavor were really a success, the citrus flavor from the orange and lemon zest really infuse the bread, and the “pasta de concha” (the white crumbs on top of the rosca) was really good, sweet and crunchy but smooth at the same time. The down side was that the bread dough didn’t rise enough , I’m not sure what cause it, if I over beat the dough or I kill some of the yeast (I put a little bit more water but instead of warm it was hot).  Any way I will try again the recipe because this dough is the base for a lot of traditional Mexican Sweet breads as Conchas or Pan de Muerto. The recipe also have an instructional video if you are interested.
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ROSCA DE REYES

Hoy es Dia de los Reyes Magos que en Latinoamerica es considerado el ultimo dia de la temporada Navideña. Por lo que cada 6 de Enero en Mexico, para celebrarlo familias y amigos en todo el pais se reunen a compartir la Rosca de Reyes. Este pan en forma de anillo tiene un caracteristico sabor de azahar y es decorado con pedazos de frutas cristalizadas como higo, citron, naranja y cerezas ademas de ate de diferentes colores. Chocolate caliente siempre debe acompañar la Rosca.
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La rosca es horneada con una pequeña figurita de plastico dentro que simboliza cuando tuvieron que esconder al Niño Dios de las tropas del Rey Herodes. Lo divertido empieza cuando cada persona corta su rebanada porque de acuerdo a la tradicion la persona que encuentra la figurita, es responsable de comprar los tamales para la fiesta del Dia de la Candelaria el 2 de Febrero. Al menos ahora solo tiene que comprarlos porque antiguamente debia cocinarlos el mismo.
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Ahora permitanme compartirles mi experiencia despues de buscar y revisar muchas seleccione esta receta para Rosca de Reyes. Para empezar dejenme decirles que hacer pan es realmente un trabajo muy pesado, asi que la proxima vez que vayan a la panaderia gustosamente pagen el precio de su pan favorito, de verdad vale cada centavo. Por otro lado esta la gran satisfaccion que te da crear algo con tus propias manos y mas si es algo que realmente disfrutas. Los resultados en terminos de sabor fueron un exito, el sabor citrico de la cascara de naranja y limon realmente impregno el pan y la “pasta de concha” (el dulce blanco encima de la rosca) tambien estaba muy rica, dulce y tronadora pero al mismo tiempo suavecita. Por el lado no tan bueno,  la masa del pan no crecio lo suficiente y no estaba tan esponjoso. No estoy segura que lo causo, no se si sobrebati la masa o si mate parte de la levadura (le puse al final un poquito mas de agua pero estaba caliente en lugar de tibia). De cualquier manera tratare de volver a hacer la receta porque esta masa es la base para muchos de los panes dulces Mexicanos como las Conchas o el Pan de Muerto. La receta tambien tiene un video con instrucciones si alguien esta interesado.