King Cake


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Cuisine: Cajun

Main Ingredient: Cake

Category: Dessert

Difficulty: 1/10

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King Cake

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Ingredients

QtyIngredient
1/2 cupMilk;
1/2 cupSugar;
1 1/2 teaspoonSalt;
1 1/2 cupShortening;
1/4 c Warm water, 110-115?F
2 pk dryyeast;
3 Eggs;
1 teaspoonLemon; zest, grated
1/2 teaspoonNutmeg;
5 c breadflour; , sifted
1 1-inch china baby doll

Method

StepInstruction
1The King Cake, surely the most popular of all Mardi Gras foods has a history rich in tradition. The history of the King Cake dates back to the Middle Ages. During this time Epiphany, the 12th night of Christmas, and the end of the Christmas season came to be known as the "12th Night" -- a time for pageants, and giving special "King" presents to children. These king presents were in memory of the Three Wise Men or Kings who followed a star and paid homage to Christ. The king cake, an oval shaped braided coffee cake decorated with cinnamon and sugar is always adorned with the official Mardi Gras colors - gold (for power), green (for faith), and purple (for justice) - and contains a tiny plastic baby. The baby has replaced the coin used in medieval times. The person who gets the slice with the baby must host the next party or buy the next cake. At some parties, the person who gets the plastic baby gets crowned king or queen. This opens up endless party possibilities, and the ritual is a popular custom in family groups, offices, schools and Mardi Gras organizations. One of the carnival organizations in past days actually chose their king and queen of Mardi Gras based on who found the bean in the King Cake. Today you will find a king cake at almost every Mardi Gras celebration. Traditionally the cake is a gift shared by friends and family, and eaten between the Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday, but you will see the king cake begin to appear during Christmas. In saucepan, combine milk, sugar, salt and shortening. Scald and cool tolukewarm. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk mixture, eggs, lemon rind, nutmeg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add remaining flour slowly. Transfer to floured board; knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turn once, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow dough to rise in warm place free from drafts for 90 minutes to 2 hours. When the dough is double in bulk, punch down and knead for 5 minutes. Divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a strip 28-30 inches long. Braid strips and shape the braid into an oval on a greased baking sheet. Secure ends. Carefully insert doll into dough. Cover and let dough rise until double in bulk; about 1 hour. Bake the King Cake at 375?F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully. Cool cake completely; frost with Lemon Glaze, and sprinkle with alternating stripes of purple, gold and green sugars. LEMON GLAZE 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons water Yellow food coloring In bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, water and tint with food coloring; blend well. Per serving: 370 Calories; 21g Fat (51% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 35mg Cholesterol; 215mg Sodium Recipe by: 09 Posted to MasterCook Digest V1 #207 by chefmad <chefmad@stic.net> (by way of kmeade@ids2.idsonline.com (The Meades)) on Feb 2, 1997.
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