Sweet filled Crown (Corona de la Almudena)

Last Friday, 9th November, was the “Virgen de la Almudena” day and therefore a celebration in Madrid.
Virgen de la AlmudenaVirgen de la Almudena 2
On this day there is a typical sweet type of bread, filled with confectioner’s custard, called Corona de la Almudena“, created in 1978 in Madrid to honor their Patron Saint, theVirgen de la Almudena’. Although this tradition is not very old, in almost all bakeries in the capital these days you can find this sweet bread.

The dough is similar to the Roscón de Reyes” (eaten over here on 6th January in celebration of the 3 Kings’ Day) and is filled with confectioner’s custard and decorated. It is not difficult to prepare, just do it well in advance because the dough takes time to leaven.

With these quantities, you can make a fairly large “Corona” (‘crown’) or split the dough and make two smaller ones. Beware during baking, as it browns very quickly and can burn in an instant!

In the recipe you’ll see that there’s an optional syrup. In my case I didn’t make this as I was short of time.

Ingredients (12 servings)

* For the sourdough:
130 gr. flour
10 gr. of fresh compressed yeast
70 gr. whole milk
½ teaspoon of sugar

* For the dough:
70 gr. whole milk
70 gr. butter at room temperature
120 gr. sugar
2 eggs
20 gr. of fresh compressed yeast
450 gr. bread flour
1 pinch of salt

* For the confectioner’s custard:
– 500 gr. whole milk
110 gr. sugar
10 gr. of vanilla sugar
50 gr. pastry flour
4 eggs
2 egg yolks

* For the syrup: (optional)
150 gr. sugar
120 gr. water
1/2 vanilla bean or vanilla sugar over
– 2 tablespoons liqueur (optional)

* For the decoration:
1 egg beaten to paint
Apricot jam for brushing
Whipped cream
7-8 cherries

Preparation:

1. Sourdough:
Put all the ingredients for the sourdough in the Thermomix jug and program 15 seconds at speed 4.  Remove the dough, form a ball, place it in a bowl and cover with warm water.  When the ball doubles in volume and floats, it’s ready.

Corona de la Almudena 1 Corona de la Almudena 2 Corona de la Almudena 4

2. Dough:
Without washing the glass, put all dough ingredients in the glass and, finally, the sourdough. Mixe for 20 seconds at speed 4.
Corona de la Almudena 3 Corona de la Almudena 5
Then program 3 minutes, jug closed at kneading speed.
Let rest in the bowl until the dough comes out of the jar (from 2 hours to 2 hours).
Corona de la Almudena 6 Corona de la Almudena 7
With the spatula, push the dough into the bottom of the jug and program 1 minute, jug closed at kneading speed (you can prepare up to this stage a day or even two days in advance and reserve the dough, covered, in the fridge – – likewise with the confectioner’s custard).
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface (it’ll be very soft) . Make a ball then a large hole in the centre with your fingers (this will close up somewhat when risen and more so when baked).
Corona de la Almudena 8
Place the crown onto a baking sheet lined with grease-proof paper or a silicone sheet.
Allow to rest until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, prepare the custard:

3. Confectioner’s Custard:
Wash and dry the Thermomix’ jug and lid.
Put all the ingredients for the confectioner’s custard into the jug and program 8 minutes, temperature 90 degrees and speed 4, then schedule 5 seconds at speed 9.
Pour the cream into a piping bag and allow to cool (I placed mine in the fridge).
Corona de la Almudena, Crema Pastelera 1Corona de la Almudena, Crema Pastelera 2Corona de la Almudena, Crema Pastelera 3 Corona de la Almudena, Crema Pastelera 4
4. Syrup:
Pour the water, sugar and vanilla into the Thermomix jug. Schedule 7 minutes, temperature 100º at speed 2.
If you’re going to use liqueur, add it once the previous step is finished and program 10 seconds at speed 2.  Reserve in a bowl and allow to cool.

5. Baking:
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
When the crown has doubled in size, decorate it with some of the custard and brush with beaten egg (if you do what I did and brush the dough first, the confectioner’s custard just slips off!!!)
Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches1 Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches2
Bake at 200º for 20 minutes (I turned the oven down to 180ºC immediately after putting the crown in). If you see it brown too quickly (like mine did), cover with foil after the first 10 minutes (turning off the fan [and the top element too], otherwise the foil will fly away!).
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches3
When completely cool, cut it in half crosswise and brush with syrup (this is optional). Fill it with the rest of the custard and brush the surface with a little apricot jam, preheated for a few seconds in the microwave so that you can extend it well (add a splash of water to the jam before heating to make it more liquid).
Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches5
Decorate whipped cream and cherries or just with icing sugar like I did.
Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches6 Corona de la Almudena, finishing touches7

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