"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -Winnie the Pooh

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mardi Gras

It's that time of year again!  Mardi Gras of course!  It's tomorrow, March 8th.  And with that comes one of my favorite things--King Cakes!

For those of you who have never heard of King Cakes or don't know the history, I did my homework. This comes from Mardi Gras New Orleans

"As part of our Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. We refer to this as the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night. This is a time of celebration, exchanging gifts and feasting. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings called "A King's Cake."

Inside every cake is a tiny baby (generally plastic now, but sometimes this baby might be made of porcelain or even gold). The tradition of having King Cake Parties has evolved through time, and the person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is asked to continue the festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.

Originally, King Cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today's King Cakes are much more festive. After the rich Danish dough is braided and baked, the "baby" is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

In more recent years, some bakeries have been creative with stuffing and topping their cakes with different flavors of cream cheese and fruit fillings.

January 6, the Twelfth Night after Christmas, is also the day our Mardi Gras season begins. Mardi Gras Day is always 47 days prior to Easter Sunday (Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday)."

Back in the day, my father would mail me a King Cake from the best bakery in New Orleans, but considering last year he cut me off and only sent my brother one {cruel}, I had to do something to suffice.   Many of you reading used to come partake in my room.  The FedEx box would come with its purple, green, and gold beads on the box, I'd rip it open, we'd ice it in the middle of our dorm/XO house floor, and dive in.  Thanks for the memories Dad.  Getting engaged = cut off.

If you're like me and live no where close to New Orleans, you don't get good King Cakes. And honestly, the thought of spending $7 on one from the grocery store disgusts me.  1. Because they are overpriced for a nasty product.  2. Because they don't taste like the real deal.  So, in effort to make a cheaper version {thank you coupons} and moist version close to the real deal, my mom gave me this recipe last year.  All you need is food coloring, sugar, cinnamon rolls, and the icing that comes with it.

Directions: Buy a package of packaged cinnamon rolls--you know the kind in a can?  Note that you need to buy the kind that you can unroll and not the kind that come as single rolls.  Take an individual roll, unroll it, fold it in half and twist to create a braided look.  Lay in bundt pan.  Use three to form the outer ring and two to form the inner ring.  Cook on 375 for about 20 minutes {350 and less if you have a gas oven like me that tends to burn things if left in for the specified time}.
I forgot to take a picture of the product un-iced so this is last years king cake.

While the cake is cooking, you need to prepare your sugar.  Use 1/2 cup sugar for every 1/2 teaspoon food coloring.  I usually decrease this to 1/4 of each.  You'll have plenty left over.  Whisk in a bowl until color is dispersed then store in plastic bags. You don't think this is going to work, but I promise it does.

Cool, ice {with the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls--I usually buy cream cheese icing cinnamon rolls}, sprinkle, and serve!

The final product {make sure that you have a super cute cake stand to display on}:

Mmmmm! Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

1 comment:

  1. That looks DELICIOUS!!! Yum! I must try my hand at this king cake recipe! :)