Sunday, February 26, 2012

King Cake

261. King Cake is a seasonal treat for a great many people. The history of King Cake is so interesting. Representative of the Magi who came from far to lay gifts before the "King" boy child, Jesus. Between January 6th and the day before Lent begins, this cake is enjoyed.
I've never made a King Cake but always love a raised dough pastry. Recently I visited several bakeries here in New York, but could not find a King Cake. So, I decided to try a recipe I found on "One Perfect Bite's" blog. The recipe is a John Besh recipe, who is a fantastic chef in New Orleans. It is King Cake - Gateau de Rois and you can find the original recipe here.

I tweeked the recipe a bit and adjusted a few measurements.
I also made my dough in my famous Bread Machine.
Fresh nutmeg was added too.
The dough was beautiful!
King Cake

For a Bread Machine recipe:
1 cup warm milk
2 sticks butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 Teaspoons yeast

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup broken pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter

icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
milk or cream

Prepare dough in bread machine. Roll out on floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling ingredients over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll.
Place on a parchment lined sheet. Brush with oil and cover. Allow dough to rise approximately 30 minutes till doubled.
Cut slits on top so dough will not split.
Bake 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or till light brown. Cool on rack.
At this point, the "trinket" is to be placed in or under the cake such as a small plastic baby, coin, porcelain figurine, etc. Supposedly, the person who finds the "trinket" will be considered "King for a day", or may have certain obligations to fulfill. (Read about the history here and Emeril Lagasi's recipe for King Cake.)

Prepare the icing and three colored sugars: purple, green and gold.

Spread icing over entire cake and sprinkle colored sugar in a pattern over the cake.
Transfer to a serving plate.
Slice and enjoy with a hot tea or coffee.
Delicious!

"Don’t get me wrong, I hardly pass up a piece of king cake no matter what it looks like; from the kind that is essentially a multicolored glazed donut (yes Meche’s I love yours too!) to the most nontraditional filled king cakes (get you a Zulu one at Ambrosia in Baton Rouge and you will NOT regret it) it takes all types to feed the need."
~The Cajun Foodie

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