King Cake / Fouace

King Cake Crown/Fouace - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

King Cake Crown / Fouace Recipe
The fouace, fougasse or fouée is a Western France specialty shaped into crown. Very popular in Spain and Mexico as rosca de reyes. Their origins date back to the Middle Ages, but their popularity swelled in the 16th Century. It is basically a low-fat brioche dough but higher in sugar content and traditionally flavored with orange blossom water and citrus zests and topped with caster or pearl sugar. During the holiday season they are stuffed or topped or both with candied cedra lemon, orange peel, Angelica sticks. Though, pretty much any candied fruits can be used.

Makes 4x1.8lb./800g King cake – Serves 4x10=40. Use a 7qt mixing bowl. This recipe can be splitted in half.

Levain / Fermented Dough
2.3 cups (300g) bread flour
0.8 cup (190g) milk, room temp
0.8 ounce (25g) instant yeast or 1.9oz/50g fresh yeast.

Mix ingredients on low to combine – increase speed and mix for 6 min more. Cover mixer bowl with a wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap; let ferment for 3 hours.
Final Dough
10 cups (1350g) all-purpose flour
1lb. (450g) sugar
1/2 Tbsp (5g) instant yeast (10g fresh yeast)
4 tsp (20g) salt
10 ea. (500g) eggs, chilled
0.7 cup (160g) orange blossom water, chilled
1/2 cup (100g) sour cream (crème fraiche), chilled
2 sticks (250g) butter, cubed and cool
2 lemon zest and 2 orange zest (optional).

Candied fruits*
*For this recipe I used poached lemons and candied mandarin oranges…
Granulated or pearl sugar.
Small trinket / fève originally hidden in the cake, (optioanal).

Egg Wash: blend 2 eggs with a small pinch of salt.

When levain is ready, add remaining ingredients (except butter) and mix on low to combine for 3 min. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to mix for 8 min. Add butter and mix for 10 min more or until smooth and dough comes off the bowl. The internal temperature of the dough should be at 75/80ºF (24/26ºC). Cover dough and chill overnight.

Flour work surface and divide dough into 1.8lb./800g portions. Flaten and fold corners toward the center with max pressure to form a tight and thick disk; flip and shape into a tight round. Cover and let rest the balls for 20 min. Flour each round, flaten a bit and make a hole in the center using your elbow – gently stretch out and let rest again. Repeat with the other rounds going back and forth observing resting time in between to prevent from tearing. The hole should measure 5”/13cm diameter.

Place each crown on a baking tray lined with silicon mat or parchment paper and flaten it with the palm of your hand. Freeze the 2 other crowns to stop proofing (Use the following day or keep frozen for up to 2 weeks). Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for about 2 hours. Egg wash and decorate with sugar and candied fruits. Refrigerated the second one though to slow down proofing by the time the first king cake is baking.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Bake king cake (one at the time) for 30 min. After baking, more candied fruits can be added as well as silver dragees. Let cool and insert a small trinket if desired.

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