Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Before I get started posting St. Patrick's Day recipes I thought I'd make a traditional Mardi Gras King Cake for Fat Tuesday.  King Cakes are a staple of the Mardi Gras season celebration.  The cake is more of a bread filled with cinnamon, sugar, raisins and nuts & then covered with icing and green, gold and purple sugars.  The King Cake also has a treat hidden inside that will bring luck (or fertility!) to the person who gets it in their slice of cake.

Good Luck & Enjoy!

Mardi Gras King Cake
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Milk
2 (2.5 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 C. Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 C. White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
5 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 C. Packed Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 C. Melted Butter
1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1/2 C. Raisins (optional)
2/3 C. Chopped Pecans (optional)
4 C. Confectioners Sugar
4 Tbsp. Water
1 Plastic Baby

Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 2 to 4 tablespoons of water.

Making the dough
After the 1st rise.
Punch it down!
Divide Dough.
Spread filling.
Roll and form.
After the 2nd Rise.
Your kitchen is going to smell so good. 
Mardi Gras!
Time to hide the baby!
The best part.
Ready for the color.
Put on your mask and dig in.

I don't see a baby in there.  Looks like someone else got it!



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