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King Cake:

The taste of Mardi Gras from The Big Easy
New Orleans

King Cake dessert recipe

If you are lucky enough to make it down to the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans be sure to sample the local fare where the King Cake is, well, King! Mardi Gras style King CakeThis favorite; is a classic dessert to be remembered, with the rich and festive traditional colors of Mardi Gras green, purple, and gold it is very much like a cinnamon bun and similar to brioche. This delicacy is more like a bread than a cake and filled with a cinnamon-sugar glaze and topped with cream cheese frosting.

King Cake
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syvwlch’s photostream on flickr

The Kings Cake is a unique frosted yeast dough cake dessert that New Orleans bakeries turn out between King's Day, January 6th, and the last day of indulgence before Lent - Fat Tuesday.

The mystique and custom of eating a wreath-shaped or oval cake on January 6th to honor the Three Kings goes back to Old World Europe. The tradition was adopted in New Orleans, Mexico and some other parts of Latin America when the French and the Spanish brought the Kings cake to the Americas. At first, king cakes were simple, lightly dusted with sugar and eaten at home, but legend tells us that sometime in the late 19th century, a New Orleans social group, the Twelfth Night Revelers, began hiding a bean, a pecan or a jeweled ring New Orleans King Cake for Mardi Grasinside the cake and the lucky recipient of the treasure would then be crowned king or queen of the ball.

A Mardi Gras dessert from New Orleans, King Cake

If you won't be fortunate enough to travel south to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras festivities, you can still bake up this traditional taste right at home.
But a word to the wise: A slice of this delicious king cake will King Cake Mardi Gras dessert recipeput you in the mood to create a little revelry in the streets of your own... caution, use at your own risk ;-)

King Cake
Feb

17
2012
Recipe courtesy of: My Spice Blends | Date Added: 17 Feb 2012
Listed in: Bread and Cakes / Cakes
Recipe Yield: Serves 16 | Prep Time: 2 - 3 hours to let yeast rise | Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients

For the dough:

1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant or fast-acting yeast
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:

1/2 cup raisins
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

For the decoration:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Purple, green and gold colored sugars

Cooking Instructions

Prior to starting: prepare raisins for the filling.
In a small saucepan, combine the raisins and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Remove from the heat and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the raisins, then transfer them to a kitchen towel and pat dry. Cool completely.

For the dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the milk, sugar, zest, eggs, egg yolks and butter.

With the mixer running on the lowest setting, add the nutmeg, salt, yeast and 5 cups of the flour. Mix just until a dough comes together. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. (If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water; if it is too wet, add a couple tablespoons of flour. )

Increase the mixer speed to 2 and knead for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling.

In a food processor, combine the raisins, cream cheese, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pulse together until combined, then add the pecans and pulse just until incorporated.

When the dough has risen, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a long rectangle, about 22-by-14-inches.

Spread the filling over the surface of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border along the edges. Roll the dough up into a tight log starting with one of the long sides. Pinch the seam shut and turn until the seam is on the bottom.

Move the log onto the prepared baking sheet. Insert one end of the log into the other end to form a ring. Loosely cover and allow to rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. Toward the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 350 F.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, in a medium bowl stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cooled king cake. Immediately sprinkle with the colored sugars before the icing begins to harden.

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