|Posted by me on July 28, 2015 at 11:15 AM|
If you happen to visit the city of New Orleans on Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday as it is affectionately known in the USA (Mardi Gras translated from the French means Fat Tuesday….) you will be mesmerised by the vibrancy, loud noise and party atmosphere of the carnival that happens at this time every year
Parades, marching bands, floats and Beautiful girls in the skimpiest of costumes dance to the loud, pulsating beat and there is food galore to tempt even the most jaded of palettes including this wonderful enriched dough cake decorated with sparkly purple ( to represent justice), green (for faith) and gold (to represent power) sugar crystals and hidden inside a small plastic toy baby. Tradition states that whoever found the baby was deemed king for the day as it represented the baby Jesus but nowadays the baby is more often said to bring good luck and prosperity for the following year.
This is my version of a King cake ( a cross betweeen a danish pastry and a cake) and because I want all my lovely friends to have good luck and prosperity in the coming year I spray a bag of jelly babies gold and then everybody gets to be king and can look forward to 365 fabulous days.
What you need
225g sour cream
60g caster sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
7g packet instant yeast
50mls warm water
1 medium egg
420g strong white flour (bread flour)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the filling
40g Caster sugar
200g full fat cream cheese
1 egg yolk( beaten) reserve the egg white for the icing on top
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or the seeds scraped out of one vanilla pod
100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped or broken
For the glaze
140g icing sugar
1 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Purple, green and gold coloured sugar crystals
8 yellow jelly babies (spray gold WITH Dr Oetker shimmer spray if you want to be extravagant) or a small plastic baby
What you do
HOW TO PROVE>>>Start by preheating the oven to ‘prove’ your cake. Place a bowl of boiling water into the bottom of your oven and switch it on to the lowest setting or 50c then close the door and don’t open again until you are ready to prove your dough.
Place the sour cream, sugar, butter and salt into a small saucepan and cook gently over a low heat to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Remove and leave to cool until it is just warm
Mix the yeast with the warm water.
Place the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl then tip in the warm sour cream mixture followed by the yeast mixture, bring it together with your hand ( don’t worry if it is sticky at this stage) and tip it out onto a clean work surface.
Knead the dough by pulling, stretching and ripping it away from you and then returning it back to the clump. Repeat as much as you can for ten minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Place into the bowl you used to mix in and place into the pre warmed oven TURN THE HEAT OFF NOW and DO NOT open the door for half an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough is proving make the cream cheese filling by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, half the beaten egg and vanilla essence together in a small bowl
Once the dough is doubled in size, remove from the oven and tip out onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with a little flour and flatten out to a rectangle 45 x 25cm then spread the cream cheese filling to within 1 ½ cm of the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and roll the dough up as you would a Swiss roll starting from the long edge so you end up with a long thin sausage.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the sausage onto it, forming a large ring
Repeat the stage to prove the dough once more by turning the oven back on to warm with a bowl of boiling water in the bottom then turn the heat off once the tray goes into the oven for a further 30 minutes or until once again doubled in size. Remove the tray and the bowl of water from the oven whilst you heat the oven to 200c for a standard oven and 190c for a fan assisted oven.
Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and baked all the way through.
Whilst the cake is baking make up the creamy drizzle icing by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Once baked Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then drizzle the creamy drizzle icing all over the top and sprinkle with bands of coloured sugar crystals and the jelly babies that have been sprayed gold….. Now it’s time to party hearty Baby and let the rhythm take you….