You won’t believe the origin of the much-loved bolo-rei. We reveal everything and even show you the best way to prepare it at home.
Like many other gastronomic delights, and contrary to what is commonly thought, the King Cake is originally from France.
This recipe full of secrets is adapted from the French cake Galette Des Rois🇧🇷 The recipe was brought to Portugal by Baltazar Rodrigues Castanheira Filho, from Confeitaria Nacional – a well-known pastry shop in Lisbon.
The fava bean, this famous tradition that we keep, has its origins in Roman times: it was customary to make a cake similar to the current king cake, at the time of Saturn’s festivities. During preparation, a fava bean was hidden in the dough and whoever found it was proclaimed king of the party.
- 750gr unbleached wheat flour
- 30gr baker’s yeast
- 150gr vegetable margarine or butter
- 150gr white sugar
- 150gr candied fruit
- 150gr dried fruit pine nuts, walnuts, raisins, hazelnuts and almonds
- 4 eggs
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1dl port wine
- 1 table spoon of salt
- Chop the candied fruit and macerate with the port wine together with the dried fruit.
- Dissolve the yeast in a liter of lukewarm water and add to a cup of flour (taken from the total weight).
- Mix and leave to rise in a warm environment for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat the chosen fat, the sugar and the zest of the lemon and orange peels.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition, then the yeast mixture.
- When everything is well connected, add the remaining sifted flour with salt.
- Knead or beat the dough very well until it is soft and elastic. If it’s too hard, add a little warm milk.
- Mix the fruits and dried fruits macerated in port wine.
- Knead again and shape until it forms a ball.
- Sprinkle the dough with a little flour.
- Cover with a cloth and wrap the bowl in a blanket.
- Leave to rise in a warm environment for about 5 hours.
- When the dough is well risen, stir and shape again into a ball.
- Place on a greased tray and make a hole in the middle. To prevent the wheel from closing, you can insert a bowl into the hole.
- Introduce the fava beans and toast wrapped in parchment paper, if desired.
- Let it rise for another 1 hour.
- Brush with egg yolk and garnish with whole candied fruit, small pieces of sugar, whole pine nuts, half walnuts, etc.
- Bake in a very hot oven.
- Once cooked, brush the king cake with jelly diluted in a little hot water.
chocolate king cake
- 100gr of milk
- 100gr of margarine
- 1 teaspoon whole milk powder
- 70gr of brown sugar
- 10g of fresh yeast
- 1 coffee spoon of salt
- 3 eggs
- 480gr of type 55 flour
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 30gr of port wine
- 1 cup of dried fruit (walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts…)
- 200g of cooking chocolate
- Ingredients to decorate:
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of jam diluted with 1 teaspoon of water
- Mix yeast with warm milk.
- Add the orange zest, port wine, margarine, sugar, lightly beaten eggs, flour, powdered milk and salt.
- Knead well.
- When the dough is ready, make sure it detaches from the sides of the bowl. If not, add more flour.
- Add the dried fruits and the chocolate broken into large pieces and incorporate into the dough (reserve some to decorate at the end), mixing well with your hands.
- Let rise for at least 5 hours.
- Shape the dough to form a crown.
- Brush with the dough, brush with jam and place the remaining dried fruit on top, interspersing with pieces of powdered sugar.
- Place in a hot oven for 20 min at 180º and brush again with jam.