Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fat Tuesday!

King Cake

for breakfast

'cause that's how we roll on Fat Tuesday.

King Cake
(recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour)

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter, melted
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm milk
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
3 1/2 cups flour  (I used 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dried milk powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or lemon oil, or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla or 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or lemon oil

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons + 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze


yellow, purple, and green fine sparkling sugars
candied red cherries (optional)
Lightly grease a 10", 4-cup capacity bakeable stoneware ring mold, or a baking sheet.

To prepare the dough: Using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or bread machine, mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together to form a smooth, very silky dough. You may try kneading this dough with your hands, if desired; but be advised it's very sticky and soft. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour. It'll become puffy, though it probably won't double in size.

Transfer the soft dough to a lightly greased work surface. Pat and stretch it into a 24" x 6" rectangle. This won't be hard at all; it's very stretchy. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour till smooth, scraping the bowl once. Add the egg and flavor, again beating until smooth.

Dollop the filling down the center of the long strip of dough. Then fold each edge up and over the filling till they meet at the top; roll and pinch the edges together, to seal the filling inside as much as possible. Don't worry about making the seal look perfect; it'll eventually be hidden by the icing and sugar.

Place the log of dough into the prepared ring mold, seam down or to the side (just not on top), or onto the baking sheet. The dough will be very extensible, i.e., it'll stretch as you handle it. So pick it up and position it in the pan quickly and gently. Pinch the ends together. Cover and let rise for about an hour, until it's puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°F while the dough rises.
Whisk the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water, and brush it over the risen loaf. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil. Bake it for an additional 30 minutes, until it's a rich golden brown. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 5 minutes gently loosen its edges from the pan, if you've baked it in a ring mold. After an additional 10 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool (or transfer it from the baking sheet to a rack to cool).

To make the icing: Beat together all of the icing ingredients, dribbling in the final 2 teaspoons milk till the icing is thick yet pourable.

Pour the icing over the completely cooled cake. While it's still sticky, sprinkle with alternating bands of yellow, purple, and green sugars. Space candied cherries in a ring around the top. Yield: One loaf, about 16 servings.

This was SO easy!  The dough was super easy to stir up--wish I would have taken a picture of it.  Just follow the directions and Viola!  We love Mardis Gras treats!

Happy Bed Heads!
**Don't forget to enter the drawing below for a beautiful pillow case dress from the Pink Dreams of Mine Etsy shop!



Sarah said...

so colorful! and tasty looking! Love it :)

une autre mère said...

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Maybe someday I'll work up enough gumption to make a King's Cake. But not today. Have I ever told you what a super cool mom you are? :)

H-Mama said...

oh my goodness. i was raised in cajun country, and never learned how to make one... my hips would thank me, yes? ;)