Saturday, February 21, 2009

King Cake

Tuesday is Mardi Gras which means it's time to make a King Cake! Breaking up larger baking projects into two days makes them seem less daunting and much more manageable. Especially when you have a 20 month old demanding your time. I just stirred some flour, yeast, and warm milk together to make a sponge for the Brioche dough. I plan to make the dough today then let it retard in the refrigerator overnight. Tomorrow I'll make the cream cheese and berry filling, then assemble and bake the cakes.

Chow posted an article and recipe for their version of "Mardi Gras King Cake". They decided to fill their ring of dough with a spiced pecan filling. I'm sure it's tasty, but I thought of dry coffee cake when I read the article and looking at their picture only made it less appetizing. It did not make me want to try this version, especially when I know how rich and tasty my own cream cheese and berry filled creation can be. I only make this one time a year, if that, so it better be good. That being said, I was really glad to see that other sites are posting recipes for the reknowned Mardi Gras treat.

Ok, so the filling is not what I personally would choose to use to fill my King Cake, but the indisputable problem with their version, was that it was not decorated. They used a plain white frosting for the top. I suppose you could make this for Easter brunch, but not Mardi Gras! Whether you frost your King Cake or not is up to you, but whatever you do, make sure it is gaudily decorated. It should be covered with bright green, purple, and gold frosting and/or sugars. Think "Mardi Gras" when you're embellishing your cakes. Remember, it is a festival of excess and indulgence. Traditionally, the last day to eat, drink, and be merry before Ash Wednesday, the first of the 40 days of lent leading up to Easter. It's Fat Tuesday!

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