This year, I made a King Cake for my (almost) Mardi Gras birthday. Clearly, we (Little Pit helped) struggled with the purple sugar, but we used liquid food color. I bet a gel color would be better. I thought I’d post the recipe, but I kind of suck at recipes so my advice to you is to find a basic brioche dough and go for it. You need a recipe with at least 3 eggs and 1 stick of butter to get the fluffy, yeast-cake texture you want for a dessert. The key to any really good bread is to let it rise until it is very puffy and AT LEAST 2x its original size. You also should knead the hell out of it. I leave it in my Kitchenaid with the dough hook and let the hook beat the crap out of it.
I made a cinnamon schmear filling and a simple glaze went on underneath the colored sugar to stick it down. I’ve had some very frosting-heavy King Cakes from Baton Rouge bakers that are delicious, but we prefer the lighter glaze. You can also get a wide-range of fillings when you order from a bakery, so go crazy with yours (you have until Tuesday, no pressure). When I lived in Baton Rouge I got my King Cakes from Gambino’s and always got the blueberry cream cheese filling (not sure you can order that filling on-line). I made red beans and rice for dinner, forgetting to save a bean for the cake. I put a peanut in the cake instead, AND NO ONE FOUND IT! We are thinking our youngest dinner guest (she’s 2) got the peanut and didn’t own up. What a slacker.
The cake I’ve had on the brain lately, and may still make, is a simple butter cake with orange marmalade filling and almond butter butter cream. Can you imagine a cold afternoon with Earl Gray tea, a slice of that, and a totally frivolous Pinterest project? I swear, had I not married Dave I would be a very contented spinster with too many cats and crocheted blankets.