While a version of a King’s Cake can be associated with and attributed to a wide variety of countries and cultures the one that stands out and has a deeply seeded association with the celebration is the New Orleans version. Pre-Lenten associations with Mardi Gras and Carnival stand out due to their intensely colorful and slightly eccentric processes of hiding a small plastic baby (or other trinkets) inside.
It then goes on to lend that the person that finds these treasures have certain obligations and privileges for the rest of the day. Today, the prize symbolizes prosperity or luck to the finder.However, this also comes with a price, for the finder of said treasures must then provide the next King’s Cake or host a Mardi Gras party in the next year. King’s cakes are such a staple now that they are being made not only for the traditional parades but also for Super Bowl to post disasters in an effort of bringing the community together. The cakes can be made bready, filled with cinnamon, cream cheese, strawberry, nuts, coconut and topped with a variety of icings or colored sugars. Of course, these color semblances of justice, faith and power lend the perfect opportunity to use Watson Edible Glitters in Amethyst, Green, and Yellow or Metallic Gold. The bonus is these glitters can be baked inside to for a little extra umph!
Things you need:
- Non-Stick Cookie Sheet (Large)
- 2 Mixing Bowls (1 large and 1 small)
- 1 Large Spatula
- 1 Medium Food Brush
- Two Strong Hands for Kneading
- Wax Paper
- Plastic Baby, Colored Coins or Fava Bean
- Watson Edible Glitter: (Mix for a fun Mardi Gras Color Blend or use colors individually)
- Metallic Gold
- For the cake:
- 1-cup milk (lukewarm)
- 1/2-cup white, granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup melted butter
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon or lime zest (Mixing both is interesting)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Several gratings of fresh nutmeg
- If you intend to put Watson Edible Glitter inside the cake: (Mix for a fun Mardi Gras Color Blend or Use separately) Amethyst, Yellow, Metallic Gold, Green.
- For the icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2-cup condensed milk (for a thinner icing use whole can)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
- Green, Gold or Yellow, and Purple Watson Edible Glitters
- For the cake, pour the warm milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a tablespoon of the flour, mix until both the sugar and the yeast have dissolved.
- Bubbles should develop on the surface of the milk and it should begin to foam, whisk in butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Then add the remaining flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg while folding the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a large rubber spatula. (If incorporating Watson Edible Glitter into the cake this would be when you would add it in)
- The dough will come together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl, where you will then shape it into a large ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and feels elastic. This should take about 15 minutes.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it aside in a draft-free place to let it proof (rise) for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, scrunch it down and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough between your palms into long strips, making 3 ropes of equal length. Braid the 3 ropes around one another and then form the braided loaf into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Gently lay the braided dough on a nonstick cookie sheet and let it rise until it doubles in size, which should be about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the braid is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow cooling for 30 minutes.
- Icing: while the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, condensed milk, and lemon juice in a bowl until the icing is smooth and very spreadable. If the icing is too thick, add a bit more condensed milk; if it's a touch too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.
- Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top of the cake. Use your food brush dipping it into Watson Edible Glitter’s Mardi Gras Colors Mix. Sprinkle cake with Mardi Gras Color Mix or do individual colors of purple, green, and gold Watson Edible Glitter’s while the icing is still wet by gently tapping on food brush to distribute glitter. Icing tends to dry very fast so having it premixed or readily available is advised. Tuck the bean, coin or plastic baby into the underside of the cake and slide the cake onto a platter.