January 6 is Three Kings Day, and I have a vague recollection of having celebrated it when I was a kid by having a cake with a hard pea hidden inside it. Whoever got the slice with the pea in it got to be king or queen for the day. My dad is Belgian and Three Kings Day is celebrated in Belgium, so I could be inserting his stories of Three Kings Day into my memory, but I’m not sure. Ahhh, the foggy middle aged mind…
Anyway, today being Three Kings Day, I thought I’d relive the tradition, make a cake with a hidden pea, and find out a little more about the holiday while I’m at it.
Three Kings Day is a Christian holiday celebrated in many countries, including parts of the U.S. It’s the celebration of the day the three wise men, or three kings, visited baby Jesus, on the twelfth day of Christmas. It is also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. You can read a lot about the holiday on this site, or more on the cake tradition on Wikipedia.
I did a quick search on the internet for a recipe for a small chocolate cake and decided to make the ‘Everyday Cocoa Cake‘ on Epicurious because it bakes in one round 9″ pan and doesn’t call for any frosting. After the cake came out of the oven and cooled for a bit, there were a few cracks on top, so I took a large dried bean and pushed it into the cake through the crack. Then I doused it with powdered sugar. Beautiful.
The kids were so excited to find out we were having cake for desert. And holy wise men! that was one super yummy chocolate cake. I thought I rigged it so one of the kids would get the bean, but it turned out that Todd got the bean. So King Todd decided that after dinner he would take a nice long royal bath.
Three Kings Day turned out to be a delightful, educational, delicious, and relaxing (for Todd) evening!