Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Christmas is over...the King Cake has come!

My first ever attempt at baking a King Cake all by myself. It smelled great, tasted good and looked totally ghetto...SLC doesn't have purple sparkly cake sprinkles so I had to just use regular sugar and food coloring.
The pecans used in the filling were toasted about 15 seconds too long, and the icing was not as I had hoped it would be.
I can not figure out why my powdered sugar (known as "icing sugar" to the Maple lovers up north) icing always tastes a bit odd. Sort of like tobacco. Not at all like the icing drizzled on pastries from the shops.
The icing recipe called for just the sugar and bourbon. Since the cake was going to be shared at work, (and I wasn't going to buy a bottle of bourbon for just a tablespoon) I used vanilla instead.
I dunno. It just tasted weird.
Any one out there have any guesses why?
It was really fun to introduce my co-workers to the 12th Day of Christmas/Epiphany Tradition of King Cake. In the South, (including Houston) Jan 6th means you can hardly take seven steps in any direction without having a King Cake being offered to you. Gas stations, libraries, dental offices...all of them have the tri-colored pastry, with the tricky to manage hidden baby (or bean or coin) baked inside.
Tricky because if you get the slice with the baby, you are then obligated to bring a King Cake to the next party or get together. Thankfully the colorful cake is readily available at all southern grocery stores, and come with a wide variety of yummy fillings, so it isn't too hard to fulfill your obligations should you get the lucky baby.
The tradition makes for a lot of fun: Have King Cake, have party!
King Cake are traditionally only to be baked and served between Jan 6th (Epiphany, celebrating the Three Kings arriving to worship the Baby Jesus) and Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Go ahead, you've still got lots of time to appropriately bake up your own King Cake and start a new tradition with the family and friends in your area!
The best part of bringing a King Cake to work?
Watching the locals eye the cake with deep suspicion (purple, yellow and GREEN???) and then deciding it was really good.
The sweetest part?
Seeing the faces of those who have spent time in the South light up when they saw the cake.
"KING CAKE!!!!!" they squealed. "Oh how I have MISSED King Cake!"
Yes, the Holy 12 Days of Christmas are now officially over.
"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez"
(Translation: Let the good times roll! Application: Do your Dieting during LENT!)


Lovella said...

Oh how great of you to treat your coworkers to King Cake. . .I nearly shaped my cinnamon buns into King cake yesterday. . .thinking of course of you.

Vicki said...

It doesn't look at all bad! My glaze is made with powdered sugar moistened with a little milk, just to the right consistency, then I add flavoring (vanilla or whatever)...and I only buy real vanilla, not vanilla flavoring. Remind me next year and I'll mail you some sparkly purple cake sprinkles. Florida's not a southern state (even though it's geographically in the south), but we have a broad cultural influence here.

The little town in Texas where I lived celebrated Mardi Gras every year. I never saw so many homemade and store-bought King Cakes in my life! That was a new experience for this Kentucky girl, and I still celebrate every year by making jambalaya.

Thanks for posting the photo!

Anonymous said...

Hmm .... perhaps you should shake things up a bit over at MGCC blog and post the King cake recipe on there! It looks very interesting, and I would love to try making one!

Lori T

Anonymous said...

KINGS CAKE!?!?!?! AUGRH!!! Sooo jealous. Despite the not-quite-so-pretty-ness, I love you just the same.

Julie said...

Hmmm.... I have no idea why your powedered sugar tastes odd... maybe you should just buy some icing sugar from up north! smile

King Cake - what an interesting tradition!
We do celebrate Jan 6/7 because it is the Ukrainian Christmas. Vic's side of the family get together and I'm not allowed to take down my Christmas decorations until it is over.

Did you save me a piece of your King Cake?

Anonymous said...

Great Story, Great Writing and Most of all Great Looking King Cake Love that Ghetto Look!!