Joyeux Mardi Gras!

OK, this post is a day late, but that doesn’t mean the cake doesn’t taste good!  I took a couple weeks off from baking because my butter and sugar supply had depleted to nothing and because this little project damned near wiped me out.  We went to Costco over the weekend and I restocked on butter and powdered sugar, so impending panic attacks were averted and we were good to slowly get back in the game.  The suggestion to make a king cake for Mardi Gras was perfect for what I’d like to call my “physical therapy and recovery” phase.  haha

Vin took me to New Orleans a couple years ago for my birthday and we ate and drank our faces off.  Un/fortunately, I’ve never experienced full-fledged Mardi Gras insanity in the Big Easy before Ash Wednesday and making this king cake is probably as festive as I’m going to get for it.  I’ve never made it before (really, like nothing else in this blog is about first time baking experiments) but I remember having it in elementary school and that it was basically bread with colored sugar and some kid almost broke their tooth and choked chomping down on the plastic baby Jesus inside.  We learned AFTERWARD that you were supposed to have good luck for the year if you got the Christ child in your piece of king cake.  Luckily, I don’t have a little figurine to sneak inside the cake so your teeth are safe. 

Purple food coloring tastes terrible.  Even in sugar.  Eww.

There are several variations of king cake: plain or filled, usually with cream and/or fruit.  I picked strawberry and cream cheese filling since it sounded delicious (thank you, Danielle).  And the consistency is more like bread than cake.  I made the bread dough from scratch and felt obligated to use the mixer (the monster looked dusty and lonely and was giving me this forlorn “you don’t love me anymore” look) so I used the bread hook attachment.  It probably took the same amount of time as it would if I mixed this by hand with a wooden spoon.  Whatever.  I waited an hour for the dough to rise and prepped the cream cheese and strawberry fillings in the meantime.  After flattening out the dough and layering the fillings on top, I rolled the mess into a Bundt pan and let it rise again before popping it into the oven.  Meanwhile, I worked on the sugar icing and colored sugar topping.  Vibrant yellow, green, and purple drops of food coloring went into the sugar cups and I made a slightly runny glaze to drizzle on top of the cake.  I admit I was worried with sugar being included in every step of this, but as my sister said, “wow, this sounds amazingly unhealthy.”  Enjoy the gluttony before Lent! 

Apologies for the sloppy decorating.  And because of the soft filling, it looks pretty unappetizing inside, but all I can say is that it’s supposed to be ooey and gooey and it tastes awesome and one slice covers 200% of your daily recommended intake of sugar.  haha  If you ask nicely I’ll bring you a piece!  No boobs or beads necessary, thanks.  =D

I’m planning on making something this weekend, not necessarily Irish-themed since I already made these a couple months ago…  I’ll get back to you on that and will have a new post on Monday!

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