Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mardi Gras King's Cake

The tradition behind this cake is interesting.  There is usually a plastic baby baked inside of the cake.  The person that finds the baby is pronounced the king for the year and has to bring the King's Cake the next year!

1 packet highly active yeast
1 1/4 warm water, about 110 degrees
2 T vegetable oil
3 to 3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese
3/4 C brown sugar
1 teaspoon brandy extract or bourbon

4 C powdered sugar
2-4 T milk
Yellow, purple, and green food coloring

Put the yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of a mixer.  Let it sit about five minutes or until it becomes foamy.  Add in the flour, vegetable oil, and salt.  Mix with a dough hook until it forms a ball.  (Add in the remaining 1/2 C flour if it's too sticky.)  Place this into a very large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit and double in size, about an hour.

Meanwhile, beat the filling ingredients together in a mixer or with a whisk.  Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a large rectangle and divide into four pieces.  Place 1/4 of the filling into the center of each piece of dough.  Fold the edges down over the filling and form a ball shape, making sure no filling shows through.  Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Cover and let it rise again, about 45 minutes.

Make the glaze by adding a little milk at a time to the powdered sugar, whisking to combine.  When it's thin enough to spread, divide it into three different bowls and color yellow, purple, and green.  Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the cakes about 20-25 minutes or until they sound hollow and are well browned on top.  Let them cool before glazing.

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