It would be fair to say that I’m not the Mardi Gras sort of person. I don’t like crowds, drinking, the color purple (except for the Colorado Rockies), beads, and bell peppers. So asking me to bake a gold, green and purple bedecked cake for a Mardi Gras party — well, just don’t. But I have to admit my husband was correct; I like a challenge. See my previous post if you’re wondering why I’m making a King Cake.
So behold, King Cake Mark II. Mark I was a dismal failure. And until this cake is served tomorrow, I won’t know if Mark II is any improvement, but it actually was quite a bit of fun to stretch my baking chops.
I used this recipe at Southern Living as a guide, but only as a guide because I didn’t want to make two King Cakes and my experience with the Mark I’s cream cheese filling was problematic. With the Mark I, I tried to halve the recipe and then further complicate the matter by braiding the cake. Using the suggested baking time (and a little beyond), the result was a soggy, but tasty mess.
With the Mark II, I decided to punt and made one braid with the cream cheese filling and the other with the filling from this recipe. The cream cheese filling, I guessed, was just too much thermal mass and cutting it in half should improve baking times. Also, I just wanted the introduction of the cinnamon.
Other improvements to the recipe was coating the finished cake with an egg wash and placing a porcelain Japanese tea cup (no handle) in the center of the cake. I think that allowed the center of the cake to set. I also used the convection feature of my oven this time.
This is not a hard recipe to make, except from the certain amount of guesswork from halving the recipe (I’ll add my measurements later). The dough forms easily and rises very rapidly (an hour). It does sink, however, as it cools, probably from the weight of the cream cheese filling.
The glaze is good and sets well and using food coloring to make the green, gold (raw sugar is already gold) and purple sprinkles worked well. I found the baby figurine in the baby shower section at Hobby Lobby.