Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll!

I have several blog updates I'm trying to catch up on! February is racing by me at warp speed! Yesterday in honor of Fat Tuesday, I made a king cake and red beans and rice. I was originally going to buy a king cake at Whole Foods. They make a really good and surprisingly authentic one. However, I was inspired by Jessica at My Baking Heart to try this recipe from scratch. This was much easier to make than I anticipated. My toddler helped me with this project and I think this will probably become an annual tradition for us. I highly recommend this recipe. I made a couple of changes from Jessica's recipe. I used bread flour instead of white flour. Per the note on Southern Living's site, the bread flour produces a lighter and airy cake.,whereas the white flour produces a great cake but it will be a little denser. I used the original creamy glaze that accompanies the Southern Living recipe. Jessica has a recipe for a fantastic looking bourbon glaze on her site, but I didn't think it was toddler friendly! Mom friendly-definitely! I'm posting the half recipe here. The original recipe makes two cakes.

King Cake

2 tbsp butter
1/2 of a 16 oz. container sour cream
2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c warm water
1 egg
3-1/4 c all purpose flour, divided (I used bread flour)
1/4 c sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp + 2 tsp butter, softened
Creamy Glaze (recipe follows)

Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Cool mixture to 100° to 110°. Dissolve yeast and 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, egg, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28- x 10-inch rectangle. Spread half of softened butter on dough, then sprinkle half of cinnamon mixture on dough. Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long side. Repeat all steps with second piece of dough, then twist with first piece. Place dough twist, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until golden. Decorate with bands of Creamy Glaze, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.

Creamy Glaze (I used the whole recipe for one cake)

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

Adapted from Southern Living Feb. 2006 as featured on My Baking Heart


Joelen said...

I love how colorful this is! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! :) It's definitely easy - glad you liked it!