I never celebrated Three Kings Day (or Epiphany) until my boyfriend introduced me to the holiday in 2006. Lots of countries celebrate by taking part in different traditions. In Mexico, before bed, little ones leave shoes filled with hay for the camels of the wise men, and in the morning they have been given small presents. I don’t know if this is how F celebrated when he was a little one in Mexico, but these days, we just eat Rosca de Reyes, which is a delicious ring of rich, sweet bread, flavored with orange blossom and topped with colored sugar and candied fruit.
The secret ingredient to the Rosca de Reyes is of course a tiny baby Jesus. Whoever finds the little plastic baby has been specially blessed, but must now throw a party for everyone in February. It’s a fun game to play while you’re dipping this awesome dessert bread into hot chocolate. I don’t have a recipe for the Rosca, but I can tell you how to make excellent Mexican hot chocolate. We like to buy a loaf of warm bread and dip it into the chocolate when it’s cold.
Fill up a sauce pan with about 16oz of whole milk and start it simmering. Drop in a half block of Mexican chocolate, like Ibarra or Nestle Abuelita. Stir until the chocolate is melted into the milk and let it simmer until it gets nice and foamy over the top of the sauce pan. Put the liquid into a blender and blend to make sure everything is incorporated.
(Since you have to dirty up the blender anyway, you may as well make 4 times that amount :] )