Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!
Mardi Gras is upon us! It’s starts on January 6th or Epiphany through Fat Tuesday or the day before Ash Wednesday or when Lent begins (44 days before Easter). Traditional King Cake is made in a circle representing the unity of faith by the original three kings. The three colors represent three truths: purple stands for justice, green stands for faith and gold stands for power. A plastic baby is baked inside the king cake to represent the Christ child. In many places the person who receives the baby has good luck for the year but is also responsible for buying the next cake!
Mardi Gras is a festival that has evolved over the years. It’s celebrated in the US, Mexico and parts of Europe though it’s often called carnival outside the states. In Louisiana and southeast Texas, parades and events are filled with beads, food and booze making it known as the time of indulgence; letting man’s sinful nature out before the restrictive time of fasting and prayer of Lent. I’m not really into the craziness of Mardi Gras but I love the food!
Beware making this cake takes hours! It’s amazing and wonderful but this thing takes all afternoon. This is actually a bread and not a really a cake so it has to rise. It’s perfect for breakfast or tea or dessert. I love it with coffee, a glass of wine and a hurricane! Enjoy! And let the good times roll!
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
1 cup of skim milk
¼ cup of butter
2 packages of active yeast
2/3 cup warm water
½ cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
4 – 5 cups of flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup melted butter
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 – 2 tbsp. water
Purple, Green and Gold Sugar
- Scald milk (heat to 180 degrees Fahrenheit) then stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes to room temperature (or 45 if you go to the store…)
- Add the cooled milk mixture to the yeast. Whisk in the eggs and then the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg.
- Add the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. The dough will get really tough about 3 cups in so continue to add the remaining one to two cups by hand.
- Knead dough about 8 to 10 minutes or until stretchy. Coat dough with olive oil.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm room to rise for 2 hours (used the laundry room and turned on the dryer).
- Punch down and divide dough in half.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray.
- While the oven heats up, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and butter together and mix until roughly combined.
- Roll half the dough out into a large rectangle or as close to a rectangle as you can get.
- Spread half the filling over the dough and roll up tightly like a jelly roll.
- Put the two ends together to form an oval ring and place on the cookie sheet. Score the top of the ring at 1 inch intervals. Repeat for the second half.
- Rise in a warm place about 45 minutes (again used the laundry room with another load in the dryer).
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes.
- While still warm tuck the baby in the bottom of the pastry in a secret spot Add glaze on top and while still wet, sprinkle with purple, green and gold sugar.