Monday, February 27, 2006

Mardi Gras "King Cake"

The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras treat, baked and covered with a poured sugar topping in Mardi Gras colors; Purple, representing Justice, Green representing Faith and Gold representing Power. Traditionally, the person who finds the hidden "baby" in his or her slice of cake must provide the cake the next year.

King Cake



1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes until yeast bubbles up.


1/2 cup sugar
4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon frshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter melted but cooled

Combine 3 cups of flour, 1/2 sugar, nutmeg, salt,lemon zest and egg yolks into a mixing bowl. Pour in yeast mixture, butter and milk. With dough hook on mixer, combine ingredients. Slowly add last 1 cup of flour until dough is shiny, smooth, no longer sticky and forms ball.


Coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a heavier kitchen towel and allow dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in volume.



After the first rising, place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down with a heavy blow. Roll into a long cylinder.

I added about a quarter cup of Nutella along the middle of the cylinder and folded the dough over to form a tube. Then form a ring with the completed cylinder and pinch the ends together. Place a small round bowl in the middle of cylinder to preserve its shape during the second rise.



After the second rising (45 minutes),remove the center bowl and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.



Cool on a wire rack and hide the plastic baby in the cake.



Icing/Glaze

3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine ingredients until smooth, adding more water if it's too thick. Spoon icing over top of cake.

.

Immediately sprinkle on colored sugars, alternating between the three colors.


Inside of baked cake showing Nutella Chocolate Center

2 comments:

Rosa said...

I have never even attempted to make my own King Cake....always buy them. But yours looks so good. Maybe next year.... Happy Mardi Gras.

Kate said...

goegeous! I had a storebought king cake last night, and it was good, but nowhere near as beautiful as yours. i just posted about a cajun srimp boil and king cake party I had last night--please leave a comment/link to your post my readers can come see your beautiful cake!