Happy Mardi Gras! Merry Mardi Gras? Is there a traditional Mardi Gras greeting?
This year I finally got around to making a King Cake. Mostly because I happened to stop in at Target last week, and they had all the colored sugars I needed in one package (along with pink, which I’m sure will get used sooner rather than later).
Traditionally you insert a plastic baby or fava bean (poke it in from the bottom) and whoever gets the slice with the baby has to bring the cake next year. Well, I brought this into work, where next to no one had even heard of King Cake, so I didn’t think I needed to stick to that tradition all the way.
This recipe was super easy to make, though came out a little dry and I wasn’t too pleased with the icing. Next time I think I’ll try a cinnamon-sugar filling and a different glaze.
adapted from epicurious.com
For the cake:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 3 3/4 cups AP flour
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest from 1 small lemon
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- several vigorous gratings of fresh nutmeg
- Combine the warm milk, sugar, yeast and heaping tablespoon of the flour in the bowl of a mixer.
- When bubbles start to form on top of the milk mixture, add melted butter, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest and whisk to combine.
- Slowly fold in flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined (should still be very sticky, but will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl
- Knead (by hand for around 15 minutes, with mixer for about 5 minutes) until the dough becomes elastic.
- Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap or clean dish towel and allow to rise until doubled (epicurious says for about 1.5 hours, but check after an hour – mine had more than doubled)
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Punch down the dough and separate into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, braiding the three pieces and joining the ends to form a ring. Pinch the ends to seal.
- Place on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until cake is golden brown on top.
- Remove to a cooling rack until cool.
For the icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- purple, green & yellow sprinkles or candies
- 1 fava bean or plastic baby (optional)
- Insert plastic baby or bean, if using, into the dough from the underside.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice – add more milk or sugar to get the right consistency.
- Pour icing over cake and decorate with colored sugar.
(And regarding my last post, I did do a new year’s day brunch, but should have planned better and didn’t actually take any pictures! Next year, I promise!)