The king cake has a long tradition associated
with the Carnival season. Originally served as a dessert on the
Feast of the Epiphany, this cake was baked with unique ingredients.
A bean was pressed into the dough prior to cooking and whoever got
the slice containing the bean had to host a party for all guests
in attendance. Today, the bean has been replaced with a plastic
baby signifying the New Year.
Ingredients for cake:
- ½ ounce instant yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 cup warm water
In a measuring cup, combine yeast and ½ cup of water. Set
aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
Using a dough hook on an electric mixer, blend ingredients on low
speed for 2-3 minutes. In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs,
butter and remaining warm water. Slowly pour liquids and blossomed
yeast into the mixing bowl, gradually increasing the mixing speed.
Mix until dough separates from the bowl, approximately 8-10 minutes.
An additional ½ cup of flour may be sprinkled into the bowl
if dough is too wet. Brush a large stainless bowl with melted butter
then place dough inside. Brush dough with remaining butter and cover
tightly with plastic wrap. Allow dough to proof in a warm place
approximately 1 hour until double in size.
Ingredients for glaze:
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tbsps cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and salt. Place in an electric
mixer. Slowly pour in almond extract and water while mixing on low
speed. Add cinnamon and continue to blend until glaze is smooth.
Ingredients for assembly:
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- eggwash (½ cup milk, 2 eggs, beaten)
- Purple, green, and gold sugars
Preheat oven to 350ºF. After dough has proofed, roll out on
a well-floured surface into an 18" x 12" rectangle. Brush
top of dough with melted butter then sprinkle with mixture of sugar
and cinnamon. Cut dough vertically into three even strips that will
measure approximately 4" x 18". Fold each strip in half
to make it 2" wide. Form into a basic three-strand braid then
shape into a circle and pinch ends. Brush the entire cake with eggwash
and proof in a warm place until the cake doubles in size. Bake 20-25
minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle glaze over the entire cake
and sprinkle with purple, green, and gold sugars. These sugars are
available at pastry and cake decorating outlets.