It's Mardi Gras season!

Unfortunately, this is another Mardi Gras season I will spend away from New Orleans. All I can do to cheer myself up is look at my boxes of beads collected over the years and bake king cakes, which I enjoy very much with coffee and chicory.

(Adapted from "Jambalaya, 15th Anniversary Edition, A Collection of Cajun & Creole Favorites from The Junior League of New Orleans)
 Yields 2 cakes

1 stick (110 g.) plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
2/3 cup evaporated or skim milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
4 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
6 cups all-purpose flour

1 stick (110 g.) butter, melted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, divided
6 tablespoons milk
food coloring (yellow, green and purple)
2 (3/4-inch) plastic babies, or 2 beans

Melt 1 stick butter in a saucepan. Stir in milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, yeast and warm water. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until frothy. Beat eggs into yeast mixture. Beat in milk mixture and zests. Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, reserving 1 cup. Spread reserved 1 cup flour over a smooth surface. Turn dough onto surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth. Grease a large mixing bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled. Punch down dough and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll a dough half into a 15x30 inch rectangle. Brush with half of filling's melted butter. Cut into 3 lengthwise strips. Combine sugars and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of mixture on strips, leaving a 1-inch lengthwise edge free for sealing. Fold each strip toward the center, sealing the seam. You will now have three (30-inch) strips with a sugar filling enclosed in each. Braid the strips together and make a circle by joining the ends. Repeat with other half of dough. Place each ring on a 10x15 inch baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise 60 minutes or until doubled. Top by brushing with egg wash. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately. While still warm, place a plastic baby in each from underneath. While cooling, mix confectioner's sugar with milk. Using 3 ramekins, divide into 3 equal parts, and stir yellow, green and purple food coloring into each ramekin. Sprinkle colored sugar mixtures alternatively on top of cooled cakes.


Popular posts from this blog

Mandarin Chicken

Lemon-Almond Snowcloud Pie with Blueberry Coulis

Best Chocolate Cake EVER!!