Easter is around the corner and to celebrate I wanted to share a delicious Easter cake that you’d find in every bakery in Buenos Aires around this time of the year. A brioche dough – well, kind off, with a lot less butter in it - shaped as a ring, topped with deliciously rich vanilla bean pastry cream and powdered sugar. After that you can decorate it as you wish, the sky is the limit. I used candied cherries, almonds and powdered sugar.
When I was a little girl I didn’t like this cake, at all. I think what I didn’t appreciate were all the candied fruit they use to put on top of it, so obviously I did it how I like to eat it! Also, I only started appreciating pastry cream not very long ago. Actually, my first two years in France I didn’t eat it, at all. And then one day, I tasted it, and that was that. I was lost, I discovered so many things - like eclairs for example, that looking back maybe not being a fan of pastry cream wasn’t such a bad thing! Wink.
I had to make this cake three times to get it right! The first time I did something horrible to the dough and it never properly grew… it was not good. The second time it did rise, but I found it to be a little dry. So I went again, this time I added the honey, and some extra butter, I treated my dough with heaps of love, and it worked! And I was so glad too, I was getting a tad frustrated!
I only did half the recipe, so normally I should have ended up with one “Easter Rosca”. Instead I made two smaller ones, because I decided to make two versions of it. The first one I baked with the pastry cream, and the almonds and the cherries, and then only sprinkled with powdered sugar. The second one I baked it by itself and only added the pastry cream and the rest of the decorations once it had cooled off. Personally I liked best the second option. But this is completely personal! SO you could try it both way!
Happy Cooking & Happy Easter!
It makes 2 Easter "Roscas"
Adapted from a recipe by Osvaldo Gross
For the Brioche-like Ring
Milk 100 g
Yeast (dry) 15 g
Sugar 125 g
Honey 25 g
Salt 10 g
Eggs 3 u
Bread Flour 500 g
Butter 150 g
Lemon (zests) 1 u
Orange (zest) ½ u
For the Pastry Cream
Milk 250 g
Vanilla bean ½ u (optional)
Sugar 60 g
Egg yolk 3 u
Maizena 20 g
For the Eggwash
Egg yolk 1
Cream 1 teaspoon
Salt a pinch
For the Syrup
Water 100 ml
Sugar 100 g
For the Finishing Touches
Powdered sugar 1
Candied cherries (optional)
For the Rosca – Ring Cake
In a bowl, using a spoon first and then your hands, mix the milk (slightly warm), 70 grams of flour and the yeast. Form a dough and let it rest until it has doubled in volume. This should take about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, in another bowl, make a dough using the rest of the ingredients. Knead until they are properly mixed. Once the first dough has risen, knead both doughs together until you have obtained a smooth unified dough.
Shape it in the form of a ball and let it rest in a floured bowl, covered with film wrap until it has doubled in shape. It took me about 2 hours. The time will depend on the conditions in which you are working. If it’s a hotter, more humid kind of weather maybe this will happen a little faster.
Whisk the egg yolks and half of the sugar together. Add the maizena and whisk making sure you have a smooth mixture.
Bring the milk, the scrapped vanilla bean (if you are using one, I used it in one of the caked and not the other) and the other half of the sugar to a boil.
Pour half of the milk over the egg yolk/sugar mixture whisking at the same time. Transfer the mixture back to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat whisking all the time. Once it starts boiling, cook for two more minutes whisking energetically to prevent the formation of lumps in your pastry cream.
Transfer to a hermetic container, cover in plastic wrap (it should be in contact with the pastry cream) and refrigerate until cold.
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Strain through a thin mesh strainer. Set aside and prepare a brush.
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from the stove and transfer to a heat resistant container. Let it cool down and room temperature.
For the Finishing Touches
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celscius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Slightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough in two equal parts. Roll out the dough to a rectangular shape. Fold it over itself until you get a cylinder shape. Roll the cylinder for a bit until it’s long enough to form a ring.
Transfer the dough in form of a cylinder onto your already lined baking tray. Now you can form the ring: to do this, bring the ends together. Brush a little egg wash on one of the ends and stick them together.
Don’t shape the cake into a ring on your work surface because you’ll lose it when trying to transfer it onto the baking tray!
Using the tips of your fingers gently press down the dough to flatten it out.
Using a brush coat the cake with egg wash. Let it dry for about 10 minutes. Go for a second layer!
If you are planning on decorating after baking, you can now bake the cake for about 20 to 30 minutes.
If you are not, then remove the pastry cream from the fridge and whisk it to loosen it up and smooth it out. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto to ring shaped cake. You can also do this using a spoon. Just make sure it’s evenly distributed.
Dispose the almonds and cherries however you like best. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes.
As soon as you remove cake from the oven, using a crush, coat it with the syrup. This will make it shine! It has to be done while it’s still hot.
Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool down.
Once it has cooled down, you can decorate with the pastry cream and the nuts and the cherries.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Now you can devour it!