The Catalan pastry chef Christian Escribà is known as the King of the Roscón, although it is a title that his father could have already taken, who imported the crowns in the roscones from France to Spain back in 1960, convincing the confectioners’ guild that that The contribution would be beneficial to all of them, rather than taking credit for their own workshop, which dates back to 1906.
How to act when we believe that the children suspect the truth about the Magi?
Escribà son explains the origin of the roscón: “This sweet is originally from the second century BC and was made to celebrate the pagan festival of” Saturnalia “(in homage to Saturn, god of agriculture and crops)”.
After the Roman Empire, these festivals were transformed into Christmas and the roscón took a round shape and became the typical sweet to celebrate the adoration of the Magi who, supposedly, had come to bring their gifts to the Messiah.
The bean and the surprise
The King of the Roscón adds that the bean “had the symbolism of fertility and prosperity in the second century BC. Whoever got it, would have to pay for the roscón next year. So the insult of ‘tontolaba’ comes from the Tonto del Haba to which the bean came out when he ate the roscón ”.
Then came the surprise, when, in the 18th century, the cook of Louis XV in France inserted a gold coin in the roscón to satisfy the young king, which, logically, gained more value than the bean. In Spain, it was Felipe V who brought the tradition of the coin into the roscón, which later became a figurine of the crown.
The crown and the candied fruit
As we anticipated at the beginning, Antoni Escribà, on a trip to Paris, discovered this type of French decoration for which all the roscones (Galettes des Rois) come wrapped in a crown, except in the Elysee palace (for what it is the seat of the Presidency of the French Republic).
Candied fruit began to be placed on the bun at the beginning of the 20th century and it pretends to represent the precious stones of the Magi of the East: “The candied orange represents gold, the green fruit represents jade and emerald, and the red of the cherry represents the ruby ”, argues the pastry chef.
In its bakery you can find roscón de nata, marzipan, sugar-free with cream or truffle, and some special ones such as El Roscón del Camello, by Sant Antoni; or the Crypto Roscón, which this year will be the first roscón in the world that can be paid with Cryptocurrencies through its e-commerce.
You can also stop by to ring its bell by the Gran Vía pastry shop, which continues to attract locals and visitors who believe in the popular saying that “if you ring the bell, you won’t die this year.”
Escribà’s recipe to make it at home
- On the work table, make a volcano with 200 g of flour. Inside it, place 30 ml of water, 30 g of sugar and the salt. Stir carefully until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- In a container, dissolve 15 g of baker’s yeast in 30 ml of water and add it to the volcano. Mix everything inside
- Beat 32 g of butter until it has a creamy texture and add it to the inside of the volcano, along with a beaten egg. Knead everything progressively, incorporating the flour around it little by little, until it is well mixed, so that it is a uniform dough. Let it rest for about 20 minutes
- Meanwhile, prepare the marzipan. In a bowl, mix 125 g of sugar, 125 g of powdered almonds and two eggs until you also get a homogeneous dough. Take it out of the container and shape it into a cigarette. Incorporate the bean and surprise
- As soon as the cake dough has settled, roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about four or five millimeters thick. Fill it with marzipan and roll it up. Let it rest for 20 more minutes. After this time, give it the characteristic round shape of the roscón.
- Bake in the oven at 160 ºC for 16-20 minutes depending on the oven
- Decorate with candied fruit to taste and sugar
Where to buy them depending on where you live
Panem has won, with its artisan roscón with almonds and candied orange on sourdough, this 2021 the IV Championship of Artisan Roscones of the Community of Madrid, where the roscón de Reyes is valued without filling, unlike the pastry cream that carries the Crown of the Almudena, a typical Madrid dessert eaten on November 9 in honor of its patron saint.
Cowboy Bakery, In Muciente, Valladolid, next to DO Cigales, it is famous for its traditional roscones because they are made in a wood-fired oven.
Marquesan Candy Store It has been a classic of roscones in Zaragoza for decades, both for Reyes and for January 29 by San Valero, the patron saint of the capital.
Confectionery ConradoMaster pastry chefs since 1856, they have become famous these days for their 10,000 euro roscón, to choose from without filling, or with cream, truffle or cream.
The bell It is a mythical, beautiful place in Seville, one would say that even ritual, since many families order their five varieties in advance: without filling, cream, truffle, angel hair and cream.
Don Manuel pastry shop, in Bilbao, they make artisanal roscas de Reyes with their little secret of orange blossom water from the orange trees of Seville, which they make throughout January.
The Arguiñano oven, from Logroño, comes in mini, small, medium and large sizes and flavors such as cream, meringue, truffle, mocha and cream.
Flory Confectionery It is one of those that has caused the most lines on Three Kings’ Eve in A Coruña for its spongy roscón faithful to the formula for 54 years. Not surprisingly, people keep asking for it throughout the year.
Forn d’es Pla de na Tesa It has the best roscón in Mallorca, because it is toasted but not dry or even without filling, although they also make them with cream, cream, etc.
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