Saturday, January 29, 2022

King Cakes

And Galette des Rois. From Southern Living:

In two words—sensory overload. But more specifically, it's a frosted seasonal treat that Mardi Gras partygoers eat between January 6, otherwise known as King's Day or Twelfth Night, and Fat Tuesday. Typically, king cake is made of a rich, brioche dough and a wide array of fillings, such as cinnamon, chocolate, and cream cheese. But the rainbow magic is found in the glaze and sprinkles, which are usually gold, green, and purple. Even the colors of the icing (and royal colors of Mardi Gras) have a deeper meaning. Gold represents power, green is associated with faith, and purple illustrates justice. King cake is baked without a center, like your average Bundt cake, except buried inside the batter is a tiny, plastic baby figurine.

There are two theories. Some believe the plastic baby is symbolism of Baby Jesus because of the religious connection to King's Day. Others, however, believe the popular New Orleans lore, which suggests that an elaborate cake was served with a bean or ring placed inside during the commemoration of the king's ball in colonial Louisiana. Whoever found the bean or trinket in his or her slice of cake would be crowned the king or queen of the balls leading up to the lavish finale on Mardi Gras.

Rather than a bean or expensive ring, the plastic effigy is mostly used today as an emblem of good luck. Though as history would have it, the lucky individual who scores the piece of king cake with the baby inside is said to gain favor, and they're also tasked with hosting duties and bringing their own king cake for next year's revelry. (Read more.)

From Eater:

You can’t cancel king cake. That’s one thing New Orleans learned in 2021, when Mardi Gras looked very different: no parades, no fancy balls, no crowds. But Carnival is always the most wonderful time of the year and king cakes are a totem everyone can celebrate, and that’s just what the city did — bakeries, restaurants, and pop-ups stepped up their king cake game like never before, flooding the market with creative, unexpected, and gorgeous cakes to enjoy at home, gift a neighbor, or bring to work.

Beginning January 6, options abound, from traditionalists staying true to the brioche-based king cake — ring-shaped and laced with cinnamon, covered in icing and purple, green, and gold sugar, with a plastic baby hidden inside — to the many twists on the original, plus a growing availability of the elegant French puff pastry and almond cream version.

This map reflects the king cakes in the Greater New Orleans area that will be available on a regular basis for the 55 days of the 2022 Carnival season, not including pop-ups and home kitchens (to be included in a separate guide after the season begins). (Read more.)

More HERE.

King Cake  and Galette des Rois recipes,HERE, HERE and HERE.


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