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Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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Mardi Gras 2013 - 12 February

"...a king cake is a ring-shaped pastry decorated with the colors of Carnival.
The first (and, most traditionally, only) one is served on Twelfth Night -
January 6. Inside the cake is a little plastic baby that's supposed to repre-
sent the Baby Jesus. (Some bakers use more lavish trinkets.) The person
who gets the baby is in charge of getting the king cake for the next party--
whether that's next year or (more likely) next week. The king cakes keep
coming until Mardi Gras."
~ Tom Fitzmorris

 

King Cake
Bon Appetit March 1987



 

"No Mardi Gras feast would be complete without this
classic nutmeg-accented yeast cake. Whoever gets the
bean brings the cake to the next party.
"

2 envelopes dry yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
5 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 1/4 cups (about) bread flour
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons milk (glaze)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 dried bean
Green food coloring
Violet food coloring
Yellow food coloring
1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
3 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons water

Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar over water in heavy-duty mixer
bowl. Let stand until dissolved; stir to blend. Let stand until mixture is
foamy and proofed, about 10 minutes.
Whisk together yolks, milk and butter in small bowl. Stir 1/2 cup sugar,
salt and nutmeg into yeast mixture. Stir in yolk mixture. Attach dough
hook. Gradually add 4 cups flour and beat until dough starts to climb
hook, about 5 minutes. (Dough can also be made by hand.) Turn dough
out onto generously floured surface and knead until somewhat stiff,
adding up to 1/4 cup more flour if dough is sticky, about 5 minutes.
Butter large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover and
let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Butter
round baking sheet. Punch dough down. Transfer to pastry cloth.
Knead dough until easy to handle, about 3 minutes.
Roll dough out to 9-by-30-inch rectangle. Using pizza cutter, cut dough
into three 3-by-30-inch strips. Lightly brush top of each with glaze. Mix
1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle over strips. Braid strips. Attach
ends, forming 10-inch circle. Using several spatulas, transfer to prepared
sheet. Press dried bean into bottom of dough, enclosing completely. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake cake until golden, about 25 minutes.
Do not overbake; cake should be moist. Cool to room temperature. (Can
be prepared 2 days ahead. Wrap tightly.)
Using hands, mix enough of green food coloring (about 2 drops) into 1/4
cup sugar to achieve a vibrant color. Repeat with remaining colorings,
using 1/4 cup sugar for each. Stir lemon juice into confectioner's sugar
in small bowl. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until smooth.
Place cake on rack over waxed paper. Frost top of cake, allowing icing to
drip down sides. Immediately sprinkle top with colored sugars, alternating
in wedges of green, purple and yellow. (Can be prepared up to 1 day
ahead.) Serve cake at room temperature.


Randazzo's Camellia City Bakery
One bite of our King Cakes and you'll know
why we're famous around the globe!


Featured Archive Recipes:
Chef John Besh's King Cake Cupcakes
Creole Calas
Kouign Amann (Breton Butter Cake)
Alsatian Kugelhupf 
Mardi Gras Doughnuts (Faschingkrapfen)
Michele's Mardi Gras Cake
 

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