Tuesday, February 21, 2012

King Cake in Celebration of Mardi Gras 2012

This is  a traditional Gulf Coast King Cake, a gift from our neighbor, Mrs. H. 
Her church had a fund raising celebration and auction on Sunday. 
She purchased the cake and brought it to our family. 
In case you are not familiar with the Gulf Coast King Cake,
it is decorated with sugar and icing in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. 
Can you see baby Jesus in the photo above? 
It has become customary in the Southern Gulf Coast culture that a trinket is baked in the cake.
Whoever finds the the trinket must provide the next King Cake or host the next Mardi Gras party. 
Mrs. H. declared she didn't want to bake or host! :-)

Thank you Mrs. H for providing this hands-on learning experience for the children in our family. 

I enjoyed my piece of King Cake with a cup of Harney and Sons Queen Catherine tea.   

RECIPE: King Cake from Yahoo Shine
This traditional cake, is made with a rich brioche dough and stuffed with a decadent cream cheese filling, is drizzled with a buttermilk glaze and sprinkled with crunchy green, gold, and purple sanding sugars.

For The Dough:
1 1/4-oz. package active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
8 tbsp. softened butter
For the Filling:
1 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon

For the Icing:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
Green, purple, and yellow sanding sugars

1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a hook, combine yeast, 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water heated to 115°. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 minute. Turn mixer off and add flour and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together. Turn mixer speed to high and knead dough for 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue kneading until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and zest in a large bowl and beat on medium speed of a hand mixer until combined; set aside.

3. Punch down dough and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle, about 1/4"-thick. Cut a hole in the center of the circle and pull with your fingers to widen. Place dollops of filling evenly around circle halfway between outer edge and inner hole. Drape outside edges over filling and continue rolling outside inward until filling is covered, widening inner hole as needed, until dough covers the seam. Transfer rolled dough circle to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour. Heat oven to 350°. Uncover cake and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

4. Make the icing: Whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer king cake to a cutting board or serving platter; spread icing evenly over top of cake and sprinkle evenly with sanding sugars.


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