I've never celebrated Mardi Gras and decided that I wanted to try to make a New Orleans style feast at home.
Since I work full-time outside of my home, this had to be done on Sunday... so we really had Dimanche Gras!
One of the customers at work always sends us a King Cake in February. This year, I got the baby. I've heard that makes me Queen for the day... or that I host the next Mardi Gras party. So I decided that I'd have a little Dimanche Gras party and that King Cake would be on the menu. Hopefully that relieves my obligation... if it doesn't, then I'll go with I was Queen for the day!
I searched the internet for recipes. And was putting together a recipe based on many of them. Then I found Cajun Chef Ryan's recipe and decided to just make a few small changes to his recipe.
1/2 C warm water (110F)
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 C sugar (plus 2 tsp)
4 1/2 C flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt
zest from one medium lemon
1/2 C warm milk (110F)
5 egg yolks
1/2 C butter, (plus 2 Tbsp) softened
1 egg and 1 Tbsp milk beaten (for egg wash)
1 dried bean or ceramic baby
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C walnuts
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 C confectioners sugar
1/4 C fresh lemon juice, strained
3 to 6 Tbsp water
Purple, Green & Yellow Sanding Sugar
In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, add 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle with yeast and 2 tsp of sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes and stir until well mixed. Move to warm place and let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly yeast has doubled in size.
In a large mixing bowl combine 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and whisk well. Stir in lemon zest.
Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and gently pour in yeast mixture, warm milk and egg yolks. Combine wet and dry ingredients until it forms a smooth dough. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, one tablespoon at a time and combine well until it can be formed into a soft ball.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in up to another cup of flour a tablespoon at a time, until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic.
Coat the inside of a large mixing bowl with butter. Place dough ball in bowl and turn to coat completely. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours; until dough has doubled in size.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Form dough into a tube shape about 14 inches long. Flatten dough tube and brush with softened butter. Sprinkle with sugar & spice nut mixture, leaving at least a 1/2 inch of dough on the edges. Pinch dough closed. Tuck bean or ceramic baby into dough seam. If you are using a plastic baby, tuck it in AFTER baking. Place dough on a parchment paper lined cookie tray and form a circle with the dough. Pinch edges to close circle.
Cover dough circle with a towel and place in a warm draft-free place for 45 minutes or until dough circle has doubled in size.
Whisk together egg & 1 Tbls of milk for egg wash. Brush top and all sides of dough circle with egg wash. Bake 375F for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow cake to cool on wire rack until completely cooled.
To make the icing, whisk together confectioners sugar & lemon juice with enough water to make glaze.
When cake is completely cooled, drizzle glaze over the top of cake. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle colored sugars in 2 - 3 inches sections around the cake.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule!!!!
A half cup of warm water (110F)
Plus yeast and 2 tsp sugar. Let that sit for 5 minutes.
Then mix it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
While the yeasties were doing their thing... whisk up your dry ingredients.
mmmmm... freshly grated nutmeg!
And the lemon zest.
Wow! The yeast got really big & bubbly!
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture
And warm milk and egg yolks.
Mix it all together.
Add the softened butter, one tablespoon at a time.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead in up to another cup of flour.
So after about 10 minutes, when it's shiny & smooth & elastic, put dough ball in a buttered bowl.
Turn to coat dough completely.
Cover the dough and place in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours; until dough has doubled in size.
Doubled in size!
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down.
Make a long slab of dough.
Brush with butter.
Sprinkle with filling.
Pinch dough closed.
I put a bean in this, but I think next time I'll skip that part. I'd hate to have someone bite into it and hurt a tooth or something. But I did tuck one in this time.
Form a circle with the dough on a parchment paper lined cookie tray.
Cover it with a towel and place in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes; until doubled in size.
Doubled in size again.
Whisk up the egg wash
Brush the cake with the egg wash.
Bake at 375F for 20 - 25 minutes until golden.
Cool on wire rack to room temperature
Move cake to a large platter.
Whisk up glaze.
Pour glaze over cooled cake.
Sprinkle with purple, green & yellow sugars.
This came out pretty good! My daughter really loved it!
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule!!!!
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