Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras and King Cake!

Photo by Meg McCluskey
Happy Fat Tuesday!  To celebrate this fun occasion, I am doing a tribute post to Mardi Gras and the delicious King cake tradition that is part of this joyous New Orleans celebration.
Every year my Friend Meg (also Chief photographer of Sarah's Sweet Creations) receives a king cake from Haydel's Bakery, sent by her parents. This year, I got to experience king cake for the first time...mmmmm. Thank you Meg's parents!
Apparently, each cake has a plastic baby inside. The person who cuts the slice with the baby is "king for a day" and is also in charge of hosting the next Mardi Gras party (or something along those lines).
There is so much history to Mardi Gras it is unbelievable! The parades, the beads, the Mardi Gras king, it just goes on and on.  Today, I will help share a bit of that history by giving you a king cake recipe to try!

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon water
Photo by Meg McCluskey

1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.*

Baker’s Notes
*Frosting can either be divided and died the green, purple, and yellow colors of Mardi Gras, or you can purchase sprinkles to decorate your king cake. 

Source: Allrecipes

No comments:

Post a Comment