10 February 2011

Experiments in King Cake: Take 1

So one thing you need to know about me is that I have a passion for all things New Orleans. The music, the food, the culture - all of it speaks to something deep in my soul. So, although it is not my official New Year's resolution, I set myself the goal of learning how to make a proper King Cake from scratch this year.

If you've been reading this blog at all, you know I'm the baker, and Chef Spouse is the cook (although I definitely cook, too, but he does not bake). So the techniques for yeast doughs are not going to be a problem - it's all a matter of finding the right recipe. Given that many of them are closely guarded krewe secrets, that's easier said than done.

Round one: Restaurant August's John Besh's recipe from Epicurious.com.

One thing you'll notice right away, if you pop over and take a look at the recipe is 3 teaspoons (aka 1 TABLESPOON) of cinnamon.

You may find yourself thinking, as I did: "That is a LOT of cinnamon."

So I cut it back to 2 generous teaspoons.

Honestly, it was still way too much cinnamon.

The problem was compounded by the fact that the icing recipe calls for enough lemon that you actually taste it. The LEMON icing did not go with the CINNAMON cake.

The dough had a really nice texture, though - very easy to handle and it baked up nice and tender.

But it was GIANT. I expected it to be 12-13 inches in diameter.

Not exactly.

It barely fit on my largest circular platter, which was a problem for cooling it, since it was WAY wider than my cooling rack.

It was the Godzilla of King Cakes, assuming Godzilla was made of tasty pastry and not Tokyo-leveling rage.

In other words: I'm still searching for Mr. Right King Cake.

Next up: the delightfully old-skool and vague recipe from the Times-Picayune cookbook, hopefully this weekend.

No comments: