Sunday, January 2, 2011

King Cake

I made this for a New Year's Eve party, but many people make it for Three Kings' Day or Mardi Gras. From the research I did online, most people hide a plastic baby in the cake. Whoever finds the baby receives good luck, becomes king or queen for the day, and/or has to throw the next party.

I found the plastic baby in the baby shower department of a craft store. They come six in a pack, so I guess I can still make plenty of King Cakes.

King Cake

Ingredients for cake:
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar (these two amounts are used separately)
1 egg
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 3/4 cups flour

Ingredients for filling:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup pecan chips (or chopped pecans)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Ingredients for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk

Heat the milk over medium-high heat until small bubbles form around the edge. Do not let it get to a full boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

Warm 1/3 cup water to 110-115 degrees. If you get it too hot, just give it a minute to cool. Pour the water in a large bowl and dissolve the yeast with 1-1/2 teaspoons of white sugar. Let stand about ten minutes.

When the ten minutes are up, the yeast mixture should look dreamy and a little bubbly. Add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the egg. Stir in the 4 tablespoons of sugar, the salt, and the nutmeg.

Transfer this to a large mixer bowl and beat in the flour one cup at a time. When the dough is all combined, turn in out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it for 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. Turn the dough over once so that is it coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for two hours. The dough should double in size.

After the two hours is over, punch the dough down. Then roll it out to a large rectangle, about 10 x 16 inches.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling. Mixture should be rather crumbly. Sprinkle the filling over the rolled-out dough. Then roll like a jelly roll, starting at the wide side. Bring the ends together to form an oval shape.

Place the ring on a cookie sheet that has been greased or lined with parchment paper. Let is rise for 45 minutes.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. While the cake is baking, make the frosting by combining the ingredients listed above. After you take the cake out of the oven, push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm. Sprinkle with green, purple, and yellow sugar crystals for that Mardi Gras look.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow! I remember making one of these in French class in high school...but it didn't look nearly as good as this one! ;)