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Hot Roll Mix,
(16 oz. each)
Grated Orange Peel
Grated Lemon Peel
Butter Or Margarine,
Plastic Baby Or A Pecan Half,
(or jaw breaker)
Violet, Green, And Yellow Paste Food Color
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).
- 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!
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.