Mexican Wedding Cakes (Conchas)

conchas, Mexican Wedding Cake, Personal Chef, Freelance Chef, Private Chef

This “sweet breads” have no preservatives in them.  They get dry quickly. My best friend, Bryan doesn’t even want to touch them until they begin getting dry and crumbly.

makes 16

1 tablespoon/15 ml active dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon/90g sugar
2 tablespoons/30ml vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon/5ml salt
1/2 cup/125ml lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups/348g flour
4 eggs, beaten and at room temperature

Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast into lukewarm water. Let it rest for about 5 minutes until it begins to bubble (proof). In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar together. Add one egg at a time to fully incorporate, then the salt, and the bloomed yeast water. Add flour in, 1 cup at a time stirring until completely mixed. Cover with cling film and dish/tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or double in size. Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet with plenty of space between each dough ball. Press each ball slightly to flatten it. Let the dough rise uncovered for an hour. 

Dough is sticky. Use a dough scraper. 

Topping

1/2 cup/110g shortening
1/2 cup/65g powdered sugar
1/2 cup/95 granulated sugar
1 cup/99 flour
1 tablespoon/15g vanilla extract
optional- food coloring green, blue or pink
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

With your hands, divide the topping into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface until it is large enough to cover each piece of dough, about 5 inches in diameter. Lightly press topping onto dough and use a knife to cut a pattern into the topping, but not into the dough.

You can do something as simple as lines across the top, or a criss-cross pattern. If you do nothing, the topping will create it's own cracks, which is also interesting looking.
After you add the topping, bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until bread is lightly golden.  

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