Monday, February 13, 2012

King Cake Recipe

Mardi Gras is Tuesday February 21, 2012!

So, I thought a King Cake might be in order :)

First, a little history:
   Mardi Gras is the last day before Ash Wednesday, when Catholic/Christians receive ashes and begin 40 days of sacrifice in imitation of the Lord, ending at Easter when the resurrection is celebrated. Also known as Shrove Tuesday
As part of the Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. We refer to this as the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night (January 6). This is a time of celebration, exchanging gifts and feasting. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings called "A King's Cake."  

 When is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras Day is always 47 days prior to Easter Sunday (Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday). Still need some visual aid?  Here's a list of the next few Mardi Gras dates..

  • February 21, 2012  
  • February 12, 2013
  • March 4, 2014
  • February 17, 2015
  • February 9, 2016
  • February 28, 2017
  • February 13, 2018
  • March 5, 2019
  • February 25, 2020
 Fun Mardi Gras Facts:

By law, float riders must always have a mask on. On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for everyone else, and the elaborate masks that some wear add to the fun.

The tradition of float riders throwing trinkets to the crowds began in the 1870s, and still continues today. Typical throws include beads, cups, doubloons, and stuffed animal.

Rex selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872. The 1892 Rex Parade theme Symbolism of Colors gave meaning to the colors. 
Purple Represents Justice. Green Represents Faith. And Gold Represents Power. (heh)

OK OK I know what you came for...

I got this recipe from my mama.. but it looks suspiciously like This one. So, I'm giving credit to  This recipe makes a wonderfully moist cake with just enough spice that can also be made as a breakfast bread!

King Cake Recipe 
This one was eaten before a proper picture could be taken :) yum!

1/2 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast (I only use 1.. :/
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups flour unsifted (plus up to 1 cup more)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut into slices and softened, plus 2 tablespoons more softened butter
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon ( I just sprinkle until I have a layer{can also mix with butter to make a paste})

Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into warm water and allow to rest for about 3 minutes. Then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in warm, draft free place for about 10 minutes or until the yeast mixture has doubled in size,

Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl.
 Pour in yeast mixture and milk in center of flour mixture. Add egg yolks and, using a wooden spoon, slowly combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture.
When mixture is smooth, knead in 8 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon at a time) and continue to knead 2 minutes eventually making a nice little ball.

Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like bread. (or use dough hooks and a mixer) While kneading, sprinkle up to 1 cup more of flour (1 tablespoon at a time) over the dough. When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.

Using a pastry brush, 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 moderately thick kitchen towel and place in a draft-free spot for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in volume. Coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of butter or baking spray and set aside.

Place dough on lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down and make an almost canoe shape. Sprinkle cinnamon over the dough and roll it into a "worm" Twist your worm and pinch the ends together to complete your dough circle. Cover dough with towel and set it in draft-free spot for 45 minutes, or until the circle of dough doubles in volume.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush top and sides of cake with some of those egg whites and bake on middle rack of oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Place cake on wire rack to cool. If desired, you can hide the plastic baby in the cake at this time.
Es Preetie!

What's that? You want icing!?!

1/4 c. butter (butter)
1 tsp. vanilla (I used rum extract this time.. Yummy!)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar
Cream butter, add vanilla, salt, sugar together. Add milk enough to make a smooth consistency that drips like slow syrup.

 And how about some fancy colored sugars? 

1 cup white sugar (light brown works too)

2 drops of any food color.

Place sugar in plastic bag or mason jars and add color drops. Shake sugar until color has evenly distributed. (about 1 minute) Add more color to darken sugar or mix colors.




Primary colors:

Red, Yellow, Blue

Red+ Yellow = Orange

Red+ Blue = Purple

Yellow + Blue= Green


For more on Mardi Gras: 

MardiGras 2012 

Parade Schedule 

Shrove Tuesday Wikipedia 


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