21 February 2011

Experiments in King Cake: Take 3

OK, THIS is the one.

I think.

Feedback from Chef Spouse and the office has been very positive. I did a HALF recipe this time so it wasn't so giant, and went a little lighter on the liquids and a little heavier on the eggs.

So here we go:

Times-Picayune/Bain Family King Cake 
(as interpreted by me)

3/4 lb. all purpose flour
1/2 oz. yeast
3/4 c. lukewarm water
1/2 c. lukewarm milk

Combine them all in a big bowl and mix - and it will be mixing rather than kneading, because this is a very loose dough. Once it's all blended, cover the bowl and let rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.

1/2 lb. unsalted butter
4 eggs
1/2 c. sugar

Use a mixer to beat them all together in a LARGE bowl. I've been just dumping them all in together, but I also want to try beating the butter and sugar first, then adding the eggs. Next time.

So why a LARGE bowl? Because...

1-2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Combine the risen dough, the butter/sugar/egg mixture, and 1 tsp. salt in the LARGE bowl. Start with 1/2 c. of flour and add it 1/2 c. at a time until everything's incorporated and you once again have a loose dough. I know I just switched from weight to volume with the flour, but it's hard to eyeball weight.

Confession time: I used the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook for this round. The dough is so sticky it's really hard to work by hand. And the dough hook did great - you just have to stop it periodically and scrape the dough off, otherwise it just spins in the center of the egg/butter/sugar mixture and the two never combine.

OK, on to the next rise, which should take about an hour.

While waiting, empty a can of mandarin oranges, peel off the label, and wash the can. Fill the can with clean rocks and lightly grease the outside. Also grease a 12" springform pan.

Once the dough is risen, dump it into your springform pan and make a hole in the center. Stick the mandarin orange can of rocks into the hole.

One more rise, again about an hour.

Heat your oven to 360 degrees (335 if convection), and bake the cake until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees, which should take about 40 minutes (but start checking it at 30 minutes).

While it's cooling, make your icing:

1 c. 10x powdered sugar
1/8 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract
a little water

Whisk together the powdered sugar, the sweetened condensed milk and the almond extract, and add just enough water to allow you to drizzle the icing but not so much that it's runny (or it will run right off the cake). We're talking less than 1/8 c. water. Not much.

Once the cake is cooled, drizzle the icing on and decorate with your purple, green and yellow icing.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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