Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On Our Plates: King's Cake (FAT TUESDAY!)

Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July are all very wonderful holidays that we celebrate with our whole hearts! BUT. Fat Tuesday. It is the king of all holidays. Who doesn't want to celebrate Fat Tuesday? Even the people who don't know it exists want to celebrate it.

Our little ritual includes making a King's Cake. And eating it. Now it doesn't escape us that this is very time and labor intensive endeavor. Or that we should have shared this on Sunday so that you could make it with us. Sorry. Next year!! Here's the recipe so you'll be ready!
King's Cake

1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
10 T. butter, cut up
1 pkg yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/8 t. mace
1/8 t. cardamom
2 1/4 c. flour
2 eggs
Heat milk in sauce pan until it steams. Remove from heat. Add sugar, salt, and butter, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir to dissolve, and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Combine milk and yeast mixtures. Combine mace, cardamom, and flour. Add eggs and flour mixture to milk mixture. Stir until dough is smooth. Knead on lightly floured surface about four minutes. Place in an oiled bowl. Loosely cover and rise until doubled, about one hour. Punch dough down, cover, and refrigerate overnight. 
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter, melted
Combine cinnamon and sugar. Roll dough into 6x24 inch rectangle. Spread butter over the dough and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll dough so that you have a 24 inch log and filling is inside, leaving seam side down. Form into a circle and pinch to seal. Place on baking sheet and let rise, loosely covered, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon extract
Combine powdered sugar and extracts. Drizzle in enough water to make a thin icing. Spoon over cake.

So tomorrow begins Lent. During dinner we discussed our family plans for Lent with the girls. Those plans included GIVING UP SWEETS. Miriam immediately broke down in tears! Wailing. "Noooooo-ooooo-ooooooo. We have to have treats!" She sobbed. "I don't like Lent! I have to eat sweets!"

Alrighty, looks like we also have a sugar addiction to break this Lent.

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