Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras: LPW Edition

This post is a shout out to my fabulous friend M, with whom I have spent many fun and crazy moments with!! After moving away from Memphis during middle school, she became a NOLA resident. One of my favorite memories from high school was my "college visit" to Tulane that "magically" occurred during Mardi Gras week. We hopped from house party to parade to krewe balls all week long. Somehow, we managed to party to the LSU frat boys AND live to tell the tale! Anyways, I wish that I could have been down there again this year to celebrate, but this darn test on Tuesday really cramped my style!


So this is what I decided to do to celebrate the week! I made my very first homemade king cake! First, let me warn you that this is not for the faint of heart. Also, the recipe calls for a HEAVY DUTY mixer -- ex. KitchenAid Stand Mixer -- and they really mean it. Yes, I had to learn this the hard way. Also, I would recommend not making this if you are not in good shape. Seriously, my abs and arms are still aching from kneeding the dough yesterday! I kept thinking that at least I was burning off some of the calories I was about to eat. With all the warnings having been said... let's proceed to the recipe!

Southern Living's King Cake

Yield: 2 cakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour (you can also use all-purpose, but the cake will be denser)
You will need to choose one of the two filling options!

Filling Option 1
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Filling Option 2
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Creamy Glaze -- not optional :)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Decorating sugars

Directions:

1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

2. Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

[Watching yeast activate is actually pretty interesting!]

3. Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

[This became known as plan B. I almost burned up my roommate's hand mixer, so I turned to the Cuisinart with a bread attachment. I will NOT be making this recipe again, until I get a HEAVY DUTY stand mixer like the recipe calls for ;) but the recipe turned out okay so I guess you could use a food processor with the special attachment instead.]

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

[Before]

5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

[During]

[After!]

6. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle.

7. Filling Option 1: Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Filling Option 2 (this is what I did): Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.

[mmmm... the best part is getting to lick the spoon!]

[I used a measuring tape to make sure that my dough was rolled out to the correct dimensions.]

8. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

[Make sure to roll tightly and evenly!]

9. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

[This is what it looks like after it has proofed again and is ready for the oven.]

10. Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).

[This is what it looks like after it came out of the oven. I should have let it cook a little longer so that the inside would have been completely cook. So, the cake should be golden brown --> brown.]

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

[I used a whisk to combine all of the ingredients. Also, it took a good amount more milk than the recipe called for to even get it to be spreadable.]

12. Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

[I was so excited to find these pink and green sprinkles on the baking aisle! It wasn't until after I had put them on the cake that I realized that they are watermelon flavored! Oh well... it still tasted good!]

[Voila!]

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! I hope you all have a wonderful Fat Tuesday!!

11 comments:

jane in the waiting line said...

that looks delicious and is so cute with the pink sprinkles! maybe next year i will make one!

The Pink Tutu said...

How yummy! What a great job you did. That's so fun that you made your own!

The Bona Fide Preppy Bride said...

I love king cake... and that looks SO delicious!

College Prepster said...

I bought those pink and green sprinkles too!! I have the peppermint flavored ones too, which are surprisingly good! :)

The cake looks so yummy!

Cricket said...

oh that looks so yummy!

The Southern Housewife said...

Looks complicated!!! :0) PS I'm your 100th follower! hee hee

Oh, and come over and see my Tucker Blair giveaway! So cute and oh so preppy!!

Leah said...

Yum. That looks delicious!
Happy Mardi Gras!

Preppy Sue said...

Wow, I'm so impressed! That looks delicious! Happy Mardi Gras!

Muffy said...

OH MAN!!!! What a great post! I loved watching each step!!!!

Mar said...

This looks so yummy- I kept waiting for the part where you said you were mailing some to your good friend M.....haha ;) Hope you can come next year!

Christine said...

goodness that looks hard!i bet it tastes great!