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Jul 19, 2010

King Cake

This is a Cake that originally started in New Orleans, A signature cake recipe. This cake will take time to prepare and set up, It's not one of those store bought cakes, just whip it up and forget. To master it right you will have to take your time preparing it.

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups flour unsifted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut into slices and softened, plus 2 tablespoons more
softened butter
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1" plastic baby doll


Directions

Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl, and sprinkle yeast and 2
teaspoons sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three minutes
then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm place, for ten minutes or until yeast
bubbles up and mixture almost doubles up in volume. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour,
remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl. Stir in
lemon zest. Seperate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yueast mixture
and milk. Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon slowly combine dry ingredients
into the yeast/milk mixture. When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons
butter, 1 talblesppon at a time and continue to beat 2 minutes or until dough
can be formed into a medium soft ball.
Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like bread.
During this kneading, add up to 1 cup more of flour (1 tablespoon at a time)
sprinked over the dough. When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more
until shiny and elasti c.
Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one
tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the
entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a moderately thick kitchen towel and
place in a draft fre e spot for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in
volume. Using a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of
butter and set aside.
Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Using you fist,
punch dough down with a heavy blow. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, pat and
shake dough into a cylinder. Twist dough to form a curled cylinder and loop
cylinder onto the b uttered baking sheet. Pinch the ends together to complete
the circle. Cover dough with towel and set it in draft free spot for 45 minutes
until the circle of dough doubles in volume. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake on middle rack of oven
for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Place cake on wire rack to cool. If
desired, at this time, you can "hide" the plastic baby in the cake.


Colored sugars

Green, purple, & yellow paste
12 tablespoons sugar


Squeeze a dot of green paste in palm of hand. Sprinke 2 tablespoons sugar
over the paste and rub together quickly. Place this mixture on wax paper and
wash hands to remove color. Repeat process for other 2 colors. Place aside.



Icing

3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 - 6 tablespoons water


Combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. If icing is
too stiff, add more water until spreadable. Spread icing over top of cake.
Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars in individual rows consisting of about 2
rows of green, p urple and yellow.
Cake is served in 2" - 3" pieces.