Our 9-inch King Cake is the perfect size for a Mardi Gras tea, one last indulgence before the beginning of Lent.
Mardi Gras King Cake
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake (8 to 12 servings)
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup warm (110°) water
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
- ¼ cup chopped golden raisins
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Garnish: green, purple, and gold sugars
- In a small saucepan, heat milk until very hot but not boiling. Remove pan from heat, and add 2 tablespoons butter, stirring until melted. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and warm water. Let stand until mixture is very foamy, approximately 10 minutes. Add cooled milk mixture, stirring well. Add egg, whisking to combine. Add remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, stirring to blend.
- In a medium bowl, combine 2¾ cups flour, salt, nutmeg, and allspice, whisking well. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, stirring until incorporated.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough by hand until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, use a mixer with a dough-hook attachment, according to manufacturer’s instructions.)
- Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm (85°), draft-free place until doubled in volume, approximately 1½ hours. While dough is rising, make filling mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans, remaining ¼ cup flour, raisins, melted butter, and cinnamon, stirring to combine.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once dough has risen, push down to deflate, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a 16-x-10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving a 1-inch border on both long sides. Starting at one long side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Bring ends of dough roll together and pinch to create a seal, shaping dough into a ring. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Using scissors, make cuts at even intervals around dough ring, cutting one-third of the way through dough to filling. Cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let rise again until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and water, whisking until smooth. Spread glaze over slightly warm king cake.
- Garnish with colored sugars, if desired.
- Serve immediately, or store in a covered container at room temperature.
From TeaTime January/February 2016
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