When I gave this post a title I had to make sure it was clear that the King Cake was indeed for Mardi Gras and not for Colin Meloy. I’m sorry, but I cannot think of anything King related without thinking of The Decemberists. I’m sure the whole band would love to drop by for some cake, but they are currently on tour in England. Lucky Brits.
This is a traditional version of King Cake which is customarily served in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. A token, such as a coin or a plastic baby, is usually baked in the cake. The person who finds the token is treated like a King for the day. The royal colors used to decorate the King Cake are purple to represent justice, green for faith and gold for power.
2 pkg (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110℉)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110℉)
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 to 3-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 to 3 Tbs water
Green, purple and yellow sugars
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1/2 cup sugar, butter, milk, egg yolks, salt, lemon peel, nutmeg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
2. Knead dough in mixer for about 4 minutes or by hand on a floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise for about an hour or until doubled.
4. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle.
5. Combine remaining sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
6. Roll dough up, jelly roll style, starting with a long side. Pinch seam to seal.
7. Place dough, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pinch edges together to form a ring. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
8. Brush cake with egg. Bake at 375℉ for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
10. For glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over cake. Sprinkle with colored sugars.
Adapted from Taste Of Home Magazine
Mardi Gras wouldn’t be complete without some Saints.
Louis Armstrong-When The Saints Come Marching In
Yes, it is good to be King.
Tom Petty-It’s Good To Be King
And, yes, The King Is Dead is good.
The Decemberists-Calamity Song
If you don’t have this amazing album yet you can buy it here.
Have yourself a Merry Mardi Gras. Cheers!
Yeah I need to buy that amazing album! Think I can listen to it on grooveshark??
That king cake looks as good as those cupcakes!
First time I ever had King cake, I got the baby! I had no idea what the the hell I hadathbitten into, nor any idea there was something in the cake. I pulled the little thing out of my mouth with a “What the hell is THIS?” and everyone laughed.
When I had Mardi Gras parties here, I invited my Borders coworkers, who were mostly college kids. The guy who found the baby ended up making a surfboard for it out of a cucumber slice, and he stuck it on the remaining cake. New Englanders!!!
I love that surfboard story!
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