Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with this Bite from the Big Easy

This traditional Mardi Gras dessert is a Fat Tuesday favorite!  Today's recipe is from Louisiana from the American Regional Cooking Library (Culture, Tradition, and History)

King Cake

1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
small plastic baby (available at hobby stores)

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 to 6 tablespoons water
food coloring or colored sprinkles

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sprinkle the yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar over warm water in a small bowl.  Allow it to sit for 3 to 5 minutes and then mix thoroughly.  Set the bowl in a warm place for about 10 minutes until the yeast bubbles.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 3 1/2 cups flour, the remaining sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest, and salt.  Gradually, add yeast mixture, milk, egg yolks, and softened butter.  Add more flour as needed to make a soft ball. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is shiny and stretchy.  Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover, then set in a warm place for about 90 minutes until the dough doubles in size.

When dough has risen, punch down and sprinkle with the cinnamon.  Form the dough into a cylinder shape and twist it into a circle.  Pinch the ends together to complete the circle.  Cover again and allow to rise for about 45 more minutes, until doubled in size.  Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until it is a golden brown.  When the cake is completely cool, poke the plastic baby into it.  The hole will be hidden one you frost the top of the cake with the icing.  Mix together the confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, and enough water to make smooth, spreadable icing.

1 comment:

  1. If you are not familiar with King Cakes, the one who finds the baby doll will have good luck for the next year. If you cannot find a doll for this recipe, an almond or other nut can be substituted.