Saturday, April 12, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night Recipe

Instead of an author for Louisiana Saturday Night, I thought we might hunker down with a great slice of King Cake. Wish I had a piece right this minute, but the only time I treat myself to King Cake is during Mardi Gras.

New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city for the parties and parades. Cities all over Louisiana celebrate including some in Alabama, Texas and other parts of the country. But let's get back to the King Cake since that's what I like best about Mardi Gras. :-)

Here's an authrentic King Cake recipe for you to try. Mmmmm, good!

Mardi Gras King Cake

For the cake:

½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
½ cup sugar, plus 2 tsp.
3 ½-4 cups flour
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
½ cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
½ cup butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk, for egg wash

For the icing:

3 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
3-6 Tbsp. water
Additional sugar & food coloring for decoration
1 tiny 1” baby doll

Sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar over warm water in a small, shallow bowl. Allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm, draft-free place until yeast starts to bubble up and mixture almost doubles in volume, about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 ½ cups flour, ½ cup sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt. In mixing bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer or food processor, combine yeast, milk and egg yolks. Gradually add dry ingredients and softened butter, adding additional flour, as necessary to achieve a medium-soft ball. Knead dough, again adding flour if necessary, until smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Place dough in a covered buttered bowl,
in a warm, draft free place until doubled about 1 ½ hours. In the meantime, butter a large baking sheet and set aside. When dough has risen, remove and punch down. Sprinkle with cinnamon and form into a cylinder, then twist this cylinder into a circle. Pinch the ends together to complete the circle. Once again, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack completely before hiding baby doll inside or icing and decorating.

Icing: Mix sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is smooth, adding more water as necessary to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread icing over cake and immediately sprinkle colored sugar in alternating color rows.

Now, if you don't have the courage to try the complicated recipe above, how about a pretend King Cake? This one is more my speed.

A Pretend King Cake

1 can of cinnamon rolls, with icing
3/4 cup of sugar, separated into 3 parts of 1/4 each
food coloring

Separate the cinnamon rolls and roll them out by hand so that they look like a hot dog. Shape the roll into an oval, pinch the ends together, and place on a cookie sheet. Cook as directed.

While they are baking, dye sugar with food coloring. Make one part purple using blue and red, one part green, and one part gold using yellow. When the cinnamon rolls are finished cooking, ice the tops with the white icing. Sprinkle the different colors of sugars alternating as you go around the oval.

Great with your favorite cup of coffee.
To read more about King Cakes and try another recipe, click here.


Erica Vetsch said...

yum! I've never had King Cake, being a Yankee and all, but it sure looks delicious!

Word Chicks said...

I just found your blog today and love your photos and your posts. Thank you for being such an encouraging voice.