Friday, March 11, 2011

Guest Chef

I have wanted to try my hand at making a traditional Mardi Gras King Cake for a few years now. They're sort of a yeast coffee cake or a filled brioche, baked in a ring sometimes with a small ceramic baby baked inside. I see them every year in the grocery stores and they're usually OK Frequently they're a little dry and overly sugary because they bake them in bulk days in advance and coat them in yellow, green, and purple sprinkles.

Last weekend I hunted around for a recipe to start from and found a likely looking one on King Arthur Flour's website. They have an awesome library of recipes, btw. The photo looked pretty good but I had one thing I planned to change: the filling. It's a cream-cheese based one and I am not a fan of cream cheese.

(Its true! I don't even care for cheesecake, though some are passble. Usually the ones that don't taste like cream cheese.)

Anyway, I tried two or three times one day to print the recipe and experienced technical difficulties. Then I ran out of time for an extra shopping trip for powdered milk and a better filling.  So we made pancakes.

On Thursday, my husband got sick-kid-duty and had some time on his hands while I was at work. He fixed my printer technical difficulties. Turns out, it was out of paper. Doh. BTW, I'm not usually technically challenged, just blonde :) He loaded up paper and out came three copies of the king cake recipe.  So he baked it for us for dessert. (He made dinner too...he's mine, btw, and I don't plan to share him).

We still had no cream cheese in the house, nor did I ever buy that powdered milk. He apparently made do without the extra milk powder, and filled the cake with frozen strawberries. 

BTW, it was every bit as yummy as in the picture. And yes, the cake did appear to be bleeding strawberry syrup in places. That is what I consider a feature, not a flaw.

Without all the extra colored sugar on top, and filled with fruit, this does actually make a good yeasted coffee cake, not too sweet, suitable for breakfast or afternoon snack.

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