We have all heard about the Queen’s cake named after the famous Queen Victoria of England, this is quite a different cake recipe.
A king cake (sometimes referred to as kingcake, kings’ cake, king’s cake, or three kings’ cake) is a type of cake associated in a number of countries with the festival of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season; in other places, it is associated with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival.
What started out roughly 300 years ago as a dry French bread–type dough with sugar on top and a bean inside now comes in many varieties depending on the country. Some king cakes are made of a sweet brioche dough in the shape of a hollow circle with a glazed topping sprinkled with colored sugar. Hundreds of thousands of king cakes are eaten in New Orleans during the Carnival season. In other countries, king cakes are made with a puff pastry, filled with one of several fillings (e.g., almond, apple, chocolate/pear, etc.), and have a small figurine, called a fève, hidden inside. The figurine changes from a bakery to a bakery and can have a variety of themes. The person who gets the piece of cake with the fève has various privileges and obligations.(www.wikipedia.com)
- 2 .25 ounce packages active dry
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees
- F/45 degrees C)
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 5 egg yolks
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 8 ounce package cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon multicolored candy
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let
- stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a
- separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Beat
- the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the
- dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a
- large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled
- in volume, about 2 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the
- remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and 2
- tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a
- 6×30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder
- and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2
- pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape
- during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile,
- preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles.