Friday, January 6, 2012

Feast of the Epiphany

Each year, I do a little post about the Feast of the Epiphany and king cake. I've never actually done a tutorial on how to make the king cake though!

I'm more than a little late, I should've done this yesterday so you'd have more time to make your own king cake. Honestly, I totally forgot today was January 6 until Sierra excitedly told me "It's that day, with the cake!" at 8 o'clock this morning. That child made herself a calendar last year and she uses it to keep me accountable. But no worries, king cake is just as tasty on January 7.

On with the tutorial!

King Cake
read here for more on the history of king cake
1 c milk
1/4c butter
1 tbsp yeast
2/3 c warm water
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 1/2 c flour

1 c brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c flour
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c melted butter

1 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water

1. Warm milk (I do 2 minutes in the microwave), then add butter and stir until butter melts. Let cool.
2. Mix warm water and 1 tbsp of sugar in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. 3. When yeast is foamy and milk is cool, add milk to yeast mixture 4. Whisk in eggs, salt and nutmeg. A few years ago, my brother-in-law gifted me fresh nutmeg and a grater. Once you've used fresh nutmeg, you can't go back to the jarred kind. This is what nutmeg looks like (they sell it in the bulk/health food section of our store, costs about 15 cents for one). Once grated, the inside has this neat pattern. You grate it on that weird, outward facing prong side of the grater 5. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Once all flour is incorporated, knead dough (I do this in the stand mixer) for about 10 minutes. You can add up to another 1/2 c of flour if you need to.

At the end, the dough in my mixer looks like this But it's not really sticky at all Gather it up And put it in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for about 2 hours (cover the bowl with saran wrap so it doesn't dry out)Once dough has risen make up filling:

Mix brown sugar, flour, raisins and cinnamon Pour melted butter in and mix until crumbly On plain or very lightly floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle (you can do one giant one...mine's about 24x10"...or two smaller ones) Sprinkle the filling on top And roll the dough up. Sometimes I stretch out the roll a bit here. Form the roll into a ring shape on a lightly greased (I use non-stick cooking spray) cookie sheet. I do more stretching here and also pat it down a little flatter Use a serrated knife to cut several gashes in the cake Turn on oven to 375 degrees. Once oven is pre-heated, bake the king cake for 25-30 minutes Mine came out all poofy again this year. I'm not exactly sure why, I used to get flatter cakes. They taste good though! While cake is still warm, mix powdered sugar and water and drizzle over cake Traditionally, you should sprinkle green, purple and gold colored sugar on top, but I was having a cranky day and didn't get around to it this time!

Enjoy and laissez les bons temps rouler!

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