Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What's Cooking? King Cake

We're celebrating Mardi Gras this week! If you missed my post on Po' Boys you can find it here. I know I promised you muffalettas today, but after spending the weekend tracking down muffaletta ingredients and then slaving over our Mardi Gras King Cake, I decided to just go ahead with the King Cake and share the muffalettas next week...after I make them. So here is our King Cake!

I have never had a King Cake before. As I mentioned last week, I've only seen them featured on TV, and then contemplated ordering one in the mail (though I never did). When I saw Michelle, from Ms. enPlace, had a King Cake recipe, I HAD to try it. Michelle did warn that it took her all day to make the cake, so I knew it wasn't for the faint hearted. It wasn't too terribly hard to make, but it was fairly involved and time consuming. Since I have never had a King Cake, I didn't know what to expect or even if I was making it right at all. It is really hard to make a dish that you have never even tasted! I faithfully followed Michelle's recipe (you can find it here), and crossed my fingers that I was making it right.

Michelle notes that you can make your dough and then refrigerate it overnight. With a toddler, I can't devote all day to baking, so I set out to make my dough on Saturday night and then bake the cake on Sunday. I happened to be on the phone with my mom, aka baker extraordinaire, while I was making my dough, so I was able to ask the serious dough questions: “Mom, you'd be so proud of how well my yeast is rising....whoa! It has almost risen over my cup!” “Ummmm....is dough supposed to be this sticky?...yes, I added more flour..but it's still so sticky...” At this point, I was nervous, my dough was sticky and it made trying to knead it a bit of a challenge. I kept adding more flour, but I then gave up and threw it in the fridge (in a buttered bowl as directed). 
It even looks pretty sticky in the picture.

On Sunday, when I took the dough out to bake, the dough had set nicely and dried out a little bit. When I turned the dough out of the bowl after it had risen, I was able to knead it, as you would any bread dough. 

On to the next step. While my dough was rising, I attempted to make colored sugar. I was able to find yellow and green sugars in the store, but no purple. My mixing efforts just didn't work. My sugar came out blue, or reddish brown. So I threw in the towel. Oh well! Hubby isn't really big on food coloring anyway, so I just glazed the cake without the sugars.

A note on the glaze. The recipe from Ms. enPlace included a glaze recipe. It called for ½ lb confectioners sugar. This seemed like a lot to me, so I used this Vanilla Glaze from Allrecipes.com recipe instead. It makes a smaller quantity, and was enough for my King Cake.

How did we like it? Reviews were mixed. Michelle notes that the King Cake is a brioche, and I was surprised to find out that my King Cake tasted like a sweet bread. My husband was pretty disappointed that it didn't actually taste like cake, though the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors were divine. In pure Northeast fashion my husband threw some maple syrup on his to sweeten it up. We decided it would make a fantastic french toast, and I plan on cutting up the cake tomorrow to make french toast. That being said, it's pretty addictive, hubby and I kept sneaking slices when the other wasn't looking.

I absolutely loved Michelle's King Cake post. It is very informative about the history of the King Cake, and I loved that she posted this recipe. She gave me a chance to try a dish I have only dreamed about eating. Stay tuned, later this week I have baked up a special surprise for Michelle!


  1. Scarlett, you are going to give me a big head!

    Yes, the dough is very sticky! I'm glad your mom was available for baking advice.

    I'm not sure why we call it King CAKE because that is misleading. It's bread. With loads of butter and sugar! French toast sounds great and you've just given me an idea for king cake bread pudding.

    Thank you for trying the recipe.

  2. oh my I am not sure I am talented enough but may try
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  3. Your King Cake looks awesome we would just love it! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. It looks really good (and I agree, the sugar is kind of off-putting to me...) Sometimes I've just made cinnamon rolls with glaze and a little sugar and that's been close enough!