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King Cake

Author/Submitted by: lamiller@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
Servings: 1
Categories: Cakes / Desserts

Ingredients:
2  Packages  Hot Roll Mix, (16 oz. each)
1 3/4  Cups  Granulated Sugar
1  Tbs  Grated Orange Peel
1  Tbs  Grated Lemon Peel
4  Large  Egg Yolks
6  Tbs  Butter Or Margarine, melted
    All-Purpose Flour
1    Plastic Baby Or A Pecan Half, (or jaw breaker)
1 1/2  Tsp  Ground Cinnamon
3  Cups  Confectioner's Sugar
1/2  Cup  Heavy Cream
2  Tsp  Vanilla Extract
    Violet, Green, And Yellow Paste Food Color

Directions:
1. Combine hot roll mix with yeast (comes in package), 3/4 cup granulated sugar and grated peels in large bowl. Stir in egg yolks, 4 Tbs melted butter, and 2 cups very hot tap water. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface. Knead dought 2 minutes until smooth; let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough out to 20 x 12-inch rectangle; brush with remaining 2 Tbs melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon over dough. Fold dough lengthwise in half; roll rolling pin lightly over dough to seal. 2. Cut dough into 3 lengthwise strips. Braid strips, starding at center and working towards each end; do not seal strips at ends. Tuck baby or pecan between 2 strips of braid to conceal. Place braid on lightly greased cookie sheet, forming oval with ends touching 3. Brush ends of strips lightly with water; pinch opposing strip ends together to form continuous braid. Cover with kitchen towel; let rise in warm, draft-free place 20 minutes until slightly puffed. Bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350F; bake 20 minutes longer until golden brown, covering with foil for last 5 minutes if becoming too brown. Cool cake on rack. Meanwhile, beat confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer at medium speed until smooth. Pour frosting over cooled cake, allowing it to run down sides. Divide remaining 3/4 c granulated sugar among 3 small bowls. Stir a different paste food color into each. Sprinkle collored sugars alternately over frosting (ie. purple, green, gold, purple, green, gold, purple, green, gold, etc around cake in small sections). Laura's notes: - make colored sugar first so that it has time to dry out. I needed to add a few drops of water to sugar to get food color to blend. - The big square cookie sheets work best because they are larger and hold the cake better. - Although I have never tried it, you could probably make a fruit filled cake by using canned pie filling. Happy Mardi Gras! NOTES: For those less familiar with the King Cake tradition, it is a giant cinnamon roll served during the Mardi Gras season. The cakes are decorated with sugar colored purple to signify justice, green for faith and gold for power. A small plastic baby (or a bean, etc) is hidden in the cake. Who ever finds the baby (said to signify the Newborn King) is designated King for the day and is in charge of bringing the cake to the next party or gathering. In New Orleans this isn't a big deal because you can pick them up at the bakery or grocery for about $10.


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