It's that time of year again! We're still not sure if we're going home to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or not this year but either way I have been busy busy making King Cakes! I still have not perfected a really good King Cake icing. Most that I've tried have a raw powdered sugar taste to them and I'm convinced that the real deal has a little butter in it so if anyone has a good recipe please let me know! I also love the crunch of biting into granulated sugar, it's what a King Cake should taste like!
**I'll upload pictures soon
Freezes Well Preparation time- 5 ½ hours Makes two 9 X 12 inch cakes
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup 99% fat free skim evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast (Fleishmann's is best and make sure to check the date of expiration)
1\3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
5 cups flour
1 cup flour, set aside for kneading and rolling
In a saucepan, melt 1 stick butter, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar, yeast, and water. Let stand until foaming, about 5-10 minutes. Beat eggs into yeast; then milk mixture and rinds. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time, reserving 1 cup to flour kneading surface.
Knead dough until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. Place in large mixing bowl greased with 1 tablespoon butter; turning dough once to grease top; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sugar, colored (1/3 cup each of yellow, purple and green)
2 plastic babies (3/4 inch) or 2 lucky beans (dried fava)
For filling, mix sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.
For topping, tint sugar by mixing food coloring until desired color is reached (for purple use equal amounts of blue and red food coloring). A food processor aids in mixing and keeps the sugar from being too moist.
When dough has doubled, punch down and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll half into a rectangle 30 X 15. Brush with half of melted butter and cut into 3 lengthwise strips. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture on strips, leaving a 1 inch lengthwise strip free for sealing. Fold each strip lengthwise toward the center, sealing the seam. You will now have 3-30 inch strips with sugar mixture enclosed in each. Braid the 3 strips and make a circle by joining the ends. Repeat with other half of dough.
Place each cake on a 10 X 15 baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr. (Alternatively, instead of cutting and braiding the dough you can sprinkle the mixture on top of your rolled dough, then roll it up like a giant cinnamon roll and form it into an oval shape but personally, I think it's prettier braided.)
Brush each with egg and sprinkle the top with colored sugars, alternating colors.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes.
Remove from pan immediately so sugar will not harden. While still warm, place 1 plastic baby in each from underneath.
*To freeze: Wrap cooled cake tightly in plastic. Before serving, remove plastic and thaw.