Monday, February 20, 2012

King Cake

I don't make this very often.  

I do serve pancakes on Fat Tuesday.  It's funny (well it's not funny) how many people do these things having no idea why.  
Of course pancakes were a good way to make sure you didn't waste any left over eggs, milk and oil that you would have to give up for your Lenten fast.  

Fast?  What's that?  

And why would anyone think it was a sacrifice to give up eggs and milk.  We take those for granted and consider them staples not the luxuries they were to many long ago and millions even today.

Doesn't seem right  celebrating Mardi Gras, if you aren't intending to go without anything in Lent.  I should talk though, I never was one for giving up stuff for Lent.

Anyway - King Cake:  

King Cake is really appropriate anytime in Epiphany (Names after the Three Kings)  but it's also become a tradition during Carnival. It's really more a sweet bread, than a cake. 


1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup butter meleted
2 packets yeast
1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
4 cups (more or less) flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Scald the milk and take it off the fire, add butter.  Let it cool a  little, pour in a food processor, add yeast and sugar and pulse.  Add salt, nutmeg, 1 egg and half  a cup of flour.  Pulse until blended, then add egg and keep adding flour a half cup at a time until it pulls all together.  

Take it out, put it on a flour board, knead it in flour until it's elastic.  

Note:  you really should have some experience with bread making to do this.  If that scares you, I think you could make this with frozen sweet roll dough.  

(Baking and kneading bread is not hard, just takes a little practice) 

Pour a little oil in a large bowl,  coat the dough with oil, cover, leave in a warm place for about 2 hours.  It should rise to about twice it's size.

While that's rising, make the filling:

  • 1 Cup Golden  raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (this is my idea - I had some and I thought they were pretty good)
  • 1/2  Cup brown sugar.  
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter
  • 1/2 Cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Bourbon

Soak the raisins and cranberries in the bourbon while the dough is rising.  Mix it all together except for the butter

After the dough is risen, divide it in two balls.  Roll them out into a large rectangles.  Spoon the filling in the middle, then pour melted butter over the filling.  Roll them up into two logs and put them together to make a ring.  Cover and let them rise again about 40 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Mix Two cups of powdered sugar,  a tablespoon of bourbon and a few tablespoons of water.  Brush the glaze on the cake while still warm, then sprinkle alternating colored sugar - purple, gold and green. Pour any left over glaze over that.  

The Plastic Baby.  

It's traditional to stick a plastic baby (the baby Jesus) in the cake.  Who ever gets it has to make the cake next time.  

I put it in the filling.  Some people feel weird about baking plastic in a cake and stick in through  the bottom after it's done backing.  

If you buy a cake, they give you the baby separate. 

No comments:

Post a Comment