Note: The King's cake is a traditional dessert that is mostly eaten around the Christmas and New Year holidays, but you can find it in most bakeries year around. It is heavy in dried and candied fruits. The King's cake was traditionally offered to family members and friends on King's Day (January 6th) as a way to remember the visit of the three Wise Men to Baby Jesus.
7 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
2 sticks of butter (approx. 16 table spoons)
1/3 cup of Porto wine
1/2 cup of pecans cut in pieces
1/2 cup of raisins
1 cup of dried fruit mix (we used papaya, raisins, pineapple, cranberries and apples, but any other mix will work)
2 pinches of salt
halved pecans, dried plums and apricots for decoration
fruit jelly for decoration
icing sugar for decoration
1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast with 1/3 of the warm milk. until totally dissolved.
2. In a large bowl add 1 cup of the sift flour make a well in the center and add the yeast with the milk, a pinch of salt, Leave for 10 minutes to rise.
3. Continue with the cake: Sift the remaining 6 cups of flour and add it to the large bowl (where the yeast has been risen), along with the sugar and the remaining milk. Use an electric mixer to mix the dough slowly until get a stiff dough.
4. Add the butter into small chunks at a time, the Porto wine, another pinch of salt, and the eggs one by one. at this point our electric mixer was not strong enough to mix the dough so we use our hands. We mixed for 5-10 minutes until getting a smooth a very soft, elastic and very very stick dough.
6. After letting the dough rise, add all the nuts and fruit by distributing them evenly through the dough. Again we used our hands to handle the dough very gently as we mixed the nuts and fruits.
7. Transfer the dough to a round baking tray covered with wax paper (it is better if you spread some soft butter on top of the paper, it allows for an easier removal of the paper after the cake is ready). Cover your hands with flour when handling the dough as it is very sticky.
8. Sculpt the dough as a large wheel and stick a pyrex small bowl (previously covered with butter) on the center of the wheel. This will keep the wheel shape of the cake.
10. Decorate the cake with the halved pecans, dried plums and apricots. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
12. Put the cake on a cooling rack, spread the fruit jelly with a brush or small spatula while the cake is still warm. It gives the cake a shiny finish.
13. Let the cake cool completely and dust with icing sugar. Enjoy it with your friends and family! This recipe makes enough cake for everybody.