The Mardi Gras King Cake, one of New Orlean's beloved traditions ! It is an oval cake baked to honor the Three Kings and is shaped as an oval to symbolize the unity of faiths. The cake is then decorated with three colors: green representing faith, purple representing justice, and gold representing power. There is also a tiny baby that is usually slipped into the cake representing baby Jesus. The excitement level as you slice the cake to find out who will get the piece with the baby is always fun. Tradition says that whoever gets the piece with the baby, will be rewarded with good luck, but is also the one who brings the King Cake to the next party !
Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Cool mixture to 100-110 deg F.
Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, eggs and 2 cups of flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. (Add the remaining flour slowly, as you may not need the whole amount. Stop adding flour once your mixture turns into a soft dough).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 deg F), free from drafts, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Punch dough down; divide in half. Turn 1 portion out onto a highly floured surface; roll to a 28 x 10 inch rectangle. Spread half each of cinnamon sugar mixture and softened butter on dough. Roll dough in a jellyroll fashion, starting with the long side. Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching ends together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, cinnamon mixture, and butter.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 20 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 deg F for 15 minutes or until golden. Set cakes out to cool. Once cakes are cooled, randomly insert a plastic baby doll into each cake.
To make colored sugars:
Place 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 to 2 drops of green food coloring into a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag and shake to mix until sugar turns green. Place another 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 to 2 drops of yellow food coloring into a separate zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag and shake to mix until sugar turns yellow (gold). Place another 1/3 cup of sugar into a third zip-top plastic bag. Take a small bowl and mix 1 to 2 drops each of red and blue food coloring. Mix to make purple. Pour this liquid into the thrid bag to make the purple sugar. You should now have 3 separate colored sugar bags: Green, yellow (gold) and purple.
To make colored frostings:
Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter. Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla. Divide frosting into three separate bowls. 1st bowl: add 1 to 2 drops of green and stir to make green frosting. 2nd bowl: add 1 to 2 drops of yellow and stir to make the yellow (gold) frosting. 3rd bowl: as you did with the sugar earlier, add 1 to 2 drops of both red & blue in a separate bowl first, stir and then pour into 3rd bowl. Stir the 3rd bowl of frosting to make the purple frosting.
Decorate with alternating bands of colored frostings; sprinkle with colored sugars.
If inserting the plastic baby doll into the cake after it cools, make sure to alert anyone eating the cake, to avoid any choking hazards. It is a fun tradition, but due caution should always be used, especially when children are eating a piece.
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|Serving Size: 1 cake (1515g)|
|Recipe Makes: 2 cakes|
|Calories from Fat: 1963 (37%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 218.1g||291 %|
|Saturated Fat 127.7g||639 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 60g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 12.2g|
|Cholesterol 1553.9mg||478 %|
|Sodium 542.9mg||19 %|
|Potassium 1358.9mg||36 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 756g||222 %|
|Dietary Fiber 12.7g||51 %|
|Sugars, other 743.3g|
|Protein 91.3g||130 %|
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Calories per serving: 5294
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