Today is your last chance to leave a comment to go into the draw to win one of three copies of Daniella Germain‘s lovely new cookbook, My Abuela’s Table. Comment by 10.00pm tonight – the 3 lucky winners will be announced tomorrow! Thanks Daniella! – Jenny x

This is a very special celebration in the Mexican calendar, to mark the bearing of gifts to baby Jesus from the Three Kings. While children in other parts of the world eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus on December 25, Mexican kids wake up on January 6 (Dia de Reyes), to baskets full of toys and sweets. In typical Mexican style, food features prominently on this occasion and the most popular treat is a slice of three kings men ring (sweet bread), and a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Enjoy the recipes below any time of year, but it’s extra special to celebrate these yummy treats on January 6.

Three Kings Men Ring Cake (Rosca de Reyes)
Makes two ring cakes

7 g dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
165 ml warm milk
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons rose water
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
¾  cup soft butter
5 cups plain flour, sifted
2 crystallised oranges, finely chopped
½ cup crystallised fruit, finely chopped
½ cup sultanas
rind of 1 lemon
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
extra crystallised fruit, for decoration
½ cup caster sugar, for sprinkling
1 plastic baby Jesus (if you can find one!)

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add milk, sugar, rose water and salt. Combine well.
  3. Add 3 eggs, butter and 1 cup of the flour.
  4. Mix the remaining flour with chopped fruit and lemon rind and then add the yeast mixture. Add the nuts and knead for at least 5 minutes until firm.
  5. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour. When risen well, divide the dough into two portions and form two rings.
  6. Place rings on a greased baking tray and cover with a cloth, leaving in a warm place for a further 2 hours.
  7. Brush rings with the remaining beaten egg and decorate with the extra crystallised fruit.
  8. Sprinkle caster sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Serve with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate – see below!

Chocolate Caliente  (Mexican Hot Chocolate)
Serves 4

4 cups milk
200 g dark chocolate (or 8 tablespoons cocoa)
4 cinnamon sticks
sugar to taste

  1. Bring milk to the boil over medium heat.
  2. Turn off heat and add chocolate.
  3. Whisk vigorously with an egg whisk or a molinillo.
  4. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick to stir each cup with, sugar to taste and a plate of biscuits.

- Daniella x