Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mardi Gras Season in Cajun Country!

With the holidays over and fading into a distant memory, Mardi Gras season is just beginning! That magical time of year that begins on "The Twelfth Night", (the twelfth night after Christmas!), and ends at midnight on Mardi Gras Day, better known as Fat Tuesday. On the Christian calendar, the twelfth day after Christmas is known as "Epiphany", "Twelfth Night", or King's Day". It is the day that the Magi visited the baby Jesus, bearing gifts and is celebrated with it's own unique rituals. As part of these rituals, a round oval cake is baked, in honor of the three kings, and is called a "King Cake". Life is a never ending King Cake Party, in Lafayette, during carnival season and the problem with these cakes is that they are every where, and you can't stop eating them! Sinfully delicious!


Here is a fabulous recipe , that I am re-posting for the king of all cakes, the Mardi Gras King Cake. This delectable cake originated in Europe and came with French settlers to New Orleans in the 1870's. They have been a part of the Mardi Gras tradition, since then, and King Cake parties are popular throughout Louisiana. The King Cake is made with a rich dough and covered with icing and sprinkles in the Mardi Gras colors, purple, green and gold. They can be filled with many different fillings, such as lemon, strawberry, chocolate, or cream cheese. It takes a little time, but it is well worth the effort. The person who finds the plastic baby in his or her piece is said to blessed with good luck throughout the year and is designated to bring the King Cake to the next King Cake party! Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filled Cake

1 16 oz. container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbs. sugar
2 beaten eggs
6 cups bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg
2 8 0z. packages cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp, vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Purple, green, and gold sugar sprinkles
Vanilla frosting
1 small plastic baby doll

Dough

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan, on low heat, stiring often, until butter melts. Set aside. Stir together yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups of the flour, and the cinnamon and nutmeg,with an electric mixer, until smooth. On low speed, continue to add the remaining flour until a soft dough forms. 

Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a well greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each section into two rectangles.( 22x12 inches, each)

Filling

Beat the sugar, cream cheese, egg, vanilla and almond extracts with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. leaving 1 inch border, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on each rectangle.

Starting with 1 long side, roll up each rectangle. On a lightly greased baking sheet, place one of the dough rolls, seam side down. Bring ends of roll together to seal, to form an oval. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes minutes or until golden. Let cakes cool for about for about 10 minutes. Insert the plastic baby doll into the cake. 

Icing 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbs.'s lemon juice
2 tbs.'s water


Combine in medium bowl until smooth. Spoon icing onto cake and spread on top, only. Sprinkle evenly, alternating with colored (green, purple, and gold sugar sprinkles). Cool before serving. Makes 2 cakes. (15 servings each) Cest bon, cher! Bon appetit!

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Stay tuned for a series of Mardi Gras posts in the next five weeks. It's going to be a blast, cher! Have a happy, fun weekend, ya'll!! Merci for stopping by, cher amis!

22 comments:

judi said...

Now there is something I have never made! I'll be back to print the recipe, when the rest of the house isn't sleeping. Looks good enough to eat!

Nancy said...

I need to have a Mardi Gras party and make King Cake!

John said...

No mardi gras in the UK, coldest winter for 30 years and the whole country under a thick blanket of snow; roll on Summer.

A Year on the Grill said...

First, I just read John's comment above, and OF COURSE MARDI GRAS... Anywhere!

I live in Kansas (possibly the most un-Cajun spot in the universe), and I have two mardi gras parties schedules (and a personal Fat Tuesday drunk planned). And tonight, it is going to be 12 below zero.

And Mags (can I call you Mags, you've always been Mags to me), I am loving this King cake recipe... I am ready now!

Joanne said...

What I love about stopping here is your way of celebrating life in all its forms, rituals and days! Happy Mardi Gras season to you :)

Kat said...

B.'s sister sent us a King Cake one year and B. got the plastic baby. It is still in my kitchen drawer! Guess I was supposed to pass it on with a new King cake. Ooops.

Sugar Creek Beads said...

Oh how I love Mardi Gras. King Cake is so yummy, I have had many but never baked one myself. I think I will try your recipe. Hope you find the baby in your piece. Jeanne

Kathryn Magendie said...

I LOVE King's Cake! Yum - hard to find up here, though....the cream cheese filled are my faves - when we visit Baton Rouge, we go to Gambinos! ...so good. GMR did make a homemade one here - he did a good job!

I scrolled down, just drooling at your posts - Pecan Pie Brownies - OH >>>MY>>>>GAWD! I can only imagine how danged good those are.....

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I thought of Mardi Gras on the 7th. Another reason for a party. And here I thought I could have a break after the holidays. No rest for the party types.

King's Cake. Sounds like a grand delight.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Enjoy your Mardi Gras and the King Cake. Boy you know how to live and enjoy yourselves in Cajun Country. Has it another name, Paradise? I wonder. With you in in ma cheri, I would not doubt it, enough to bring out the Mt Hyde in me and frighten that boring Dr Jekyll away! LOL
Now this comment was prompted by your comment at my place when you welcomed the return of my Mr Hyde!!! Do I detect a little smile? LOL

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Yay! I always wanted to go to Mardi Gras! How fun.

Alix said...

Marguerite! I am so ready for a little Mardi Gras action. Soon, soon... You are indeed fortunate to be surrounded by all things Cajun.

I want to come back to New Orleans so badly. So very badly... and eat beignets and drink cafe aulait and visit the above ground cemetery and cruise up and down Bourbon Street with my Hurricane in hand and shop in all the VooDoo shops and basically get my fill of the good life. Will you be my tour guide? Pretty please?

Thanks so much for swinging by mi casa and leaving such a wonderful touching comment. Made my day. Love you!

Marguerite said...

Judi- So glad you want to make one! One word of warning- they are totally addicting, especially the chocolate filled ones. Thanks!

Nancy- You should definitely have a Mardi Gras party! I will be posting lots of recipes that we use for the Mardi Gras season, here. Hope you try the King Cake!

John- It has been very cold, here, too, (19 degrees, this morning) but at least we don't have any snow! Have a few English beers and stay warm, cher!

Dave- Your Mardi Gras parties sound fun and I hope that you make the King Cake! The recipe actually makes two and they freeze well. 12 below zero? Wow!

Joanne- Merci beaucoup for your lovely comment! We do tend to celebrate life, here in Cajun Country. It's in our genes! Thanks for stopping by, cher!

Kat- Well, you've already got the plastic baby, so all you need to do is to make the cake and find a party to go to! Happy Mardi Gras, mon amie!

Jo said...

Oh, goodness, who needs Mardi Gras to make a cake like that!? Yum!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Dearest Marguerite...
As far as I'm concerned, girlfriend, anything with cream cheese is a winner!! I'll take it!!! This looks heavenly!!! Wrap that recipe up...I'm taking it home with me...pronto!! Have a fabulous Mardi Gras, cher!!! j'taime! Janine XO

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

My mother in law brought us a king cake when she visited for Christmas. Awww, good stuff! I hope to visit my family during the Mardi Gras season. Thanks for the great recipe.

Velva said...

Wow! Mardi Gras is just around the corner. Your blog is going to be rocking with sharing with all your foodie friends the Cajun delights used to celebrate Mardi Gras. What a great start with the King Cake-Love it.

Marguerite said...

Jeanne- I have had a piece of King Cake now for 10 days in a row!! Hope you make one! Thanks, I have already found 2 babies. so I now I have to make 2 more cakes!

Kathryn- Cest bon, cher! We have a Gambino's Bakery in Lafayette, too and it's right up the street! Love Gambino's! My faves are the chocolate and lemon filled ones. A man that makes King Cake is worth his weight in gold! lol Do get GMR to make the Pecan Pie Brownies! To die for, cher! Merci for coming by, it's good to see you!

Midlife- Mardi Gras is one giant 5 week party! They have a great celebration in Galveston (closer to you) that I've been to, several times. Fun, fun, fun, cher! And the King Cake is fab! Thanks!

Eddie- Mardi Gras is a blast! We get to dress up in costumes, go to fancy balls, hear great music, eat great food, and catch lots of beads at the parades. Mr. Hyde would love it and maybe even Dr.Jeckyll, too! lol

Elizabeth- Thanks, cher! There is a fabulous Mardi Gras in San Diego! You should go, if you can. My daughter rode on a float there, a few years ago, and said it was an awesome party!

Marguerite said...

Alix- Sounds like you need to take a little trip to New Orleans, all right. And of course, I would be delighted to show you around!! Then maybe we could hit Fantasy Fest in the Keys! :) You're very welcome, it was my pleasure!

Jo- Thanks for the sweet comment! Although these cakes are good at any time of year, they are part of the Mardi Gras tradition and therefore are better eaten with festivities. You should have a Mardi Gras party! Cheers, cher!

Janine- These King Cakes are at work, at home, at friend's homes, in restaurants, at the balls, in short, everywhere! And there is NO resisting them, as they are that good! Merci beaucoup for your kind compliments and wishes and for stopping by, bon amie!

Mandy- So nice to hear from you, cher! Very sweet of your MIL to bring you a King Cake! So happy that you're going to go home during Mardi Gras, but I heard that Pensacola has an awesome Mardi Gras, too! Check it out!

Velva- Thanks so much for your lovely comment. If anyone can make a King Cake, it would be you! It's a fabulous, fun time, filled with all kinds of Cajun delights. Stay tuned, cher!

sanjeet said...

I am loving this King cake recipe... I am ready now!


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A Cajun Down Under said...

Thanks for the great recipe! I will make this to celebrate Fat Tuesday down under.

A Cajun Down Under said...

Hi Marguerite, I made this king cake to celebrate Mardi Gras Down Under. It came out great and oh so yummy. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe. If you are interested, I posted some pics of our cake on my site, http://acajundownunder.com/fat-tuesday/