So the Christmas celebrations are over, all the food and chocolate is eaten and I should be restarting my healthy eating? Not yet, as in Spain, January is the month of the Three Kings which traditionally is when presents are given, so the celebrations continue and it’s another Fiesta on 6th January, so the diet will have to wait. A very special cake is eaten in Spain on this day and can be purchased from any supermarket or bakers. I have added the recipe below for anyone wanting to make their own, along with a few desserts and cakes that are not so traditional.

Thank you also for everyone who sent me messages while I was in hospital.  It was very kind of you. I am on the mend although can’t put any weight on my leg until the end of January, so not cooking at the moment!

Buen Apetito 

Roscon de los Reyes (Three Kings Cake)

30g yeast
1½ kg flour
8 eggs
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp orange flower water
1½ cups of milk (room temperature) 
300g sugar
300g butter
250g candied fruit
1 small plastic or porcelain doll

Mix yeast with ½ kilo flour, slowly adding ½ cup of milk and mix well. Remove half of the dough and roll into a ball and allow to grow double in size. With the remaining flour make a hollowed out mound on a baking tray. Put all the remaining ingredients (apart from the candied fruit and toy) in the centre and slowly mix. When the ball of dough has doubled in size, mix it with the original dough until both are completely united. Mix in the dough on the baking tray until all completely incorporated. Cover with a clean tea towel or cloth and allow to rise to double the size (about 2 hours). Place doll or toy in the dough and knead well. Shape into a circle with a hole in the middle, but not all the way through. Place on a large baking tray and allow rising again, but be aware that the ring will also rise when cooked. 

Decorate with the candied fruit and brush with beaten egg to give a glazed finish. Cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes and allow to cool.   

Rum Truffles

100g trifle sponges
4 tbsp rum
4 tbsp black coffee
25g slivered almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar
25g butter
100g strong chocolate
Chocolate strands to decorate

Dice the sponges and place in shallow dish. Grill nuts for 5 minutes, turning until toasted. Allow to cool. Put icing sugar and butter into a bowl and beat together. Add the sponge, juices and almonds and mix well. Set aside. Break chocolate into squares and place in a glass heat proof bowl over a pan of hot water. Leave until melted and stir until smooth, remove from the heat and mix into sponge mixture. Set aside to cool until firm enough to roll. Using a spoon scoop out small portions and roll into balls. Roll in the chocolate strands and place in a paper case.


200g oats
25g pl flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
50g butter 
4 tbsp boiling water

Heat oven to 180ºC. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Stir in the butter and enough boiling water to mix to firm dough. Sprinkle spare oats on the work surface and roll the dough to about 3mm thickness. Cut into rounds about 6cm and arrange on a non-stick baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes. 

Moist Gingerbread

225g stewed pear and apple
300ml skimmed milk
2 tsp lemon juice
115g butter
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
350g whole meal flour
50g sultanas
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
25g flaked almonds

Heat oven to 180ºC and grease a square cake tin. Place the stewed pear and apple, skimmed milk, lemon juice, butter and spices in a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Mix together the flour and sultanas in a large bowl. Mix together the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a jug and slowly add to the flour mixture and then add the milk mixture from the saucepan. Mix well until an even mixture and pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with almonds and bake for 45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. 

Carrot and Nut Sponge Cake

115g shelled hazelnuts or almonds or a mixture of both
25g desiccated coconut
3 eggs
75g fructose
150g carrots (grated)
25g whole meal flour
½ tsp baking powder
Grated rind of lemon or orange

Heat the oven 180ºC and grease a 18cm round cake tin. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. Add the coconut after 5 minutes and toast with the nuts. Grind the mixture in a food processor or rotary grater. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg yolks with 2/3rd of the fructose in a bowl until pale and thick. Stir in the ground nuts, grated carrots, flour, baking powder and lemon rinds. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining fructose and then fold into the cake mixture and spoon into the cake tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm to the touch.