It started with a status update on Facebook: "ahhh.....i wish i had a king cake." Attempts in past years at making king cakes were never exactly successful. I shamelessly even requested one from my California friend when my birthday rolled around, as if a woman from California who had never been to Louisiana would know what a king cake might be. Shameless. She made an honest effort and actually did a find job, but it just wasn't right. This year a friend I haven't seen since May of 1990 (Facebook does that to you) sent me a recipe, a simple recipe. . . well, a way to cheat.
He actually suggested that I go to a high end grocery store or a place like Whole Foods to find pastry dough . . . like I said, it's been since 1990 -- he doesn't know me well either. He suggested canned cinnamon rolls as a last resort.
I didn't even bother with the pastry dough, but I do plan to look around a bit for some. I think I have about 11 weeks to go. I simply used the canned cinnamon rolls to make an oval on my baking stone.
I did make the white icing and took his advice to add a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think he's some sort of bona fide chef in New Orleans; his profile doesn't say, but it does tell me that he loves Ronald Reagan. Lots of people from my past do so; these same Facebook friends don't care so much for our current leader. Facebook often serves to remind me of my roots.
Before covering the king cake in icing, I inserted the required baby. Okay, so my baby was metallic and purple. . . at least I thought far enough ahead to procure a baby. A king cake is not a king cake without the baby! Besides, how would we know who is responsible for the next cake?
Here you have it. . . king cake in Italy. . . .complete with the purple, green and gold sugar. . . tastes okay. . . I'm pretty sure I had the temp too high on the oven and overcooked the pastry slightly. We'll all enjoy a piece before I bring the rest to the office tomorrow, where I am sure it will disappear within an hour, overcooked or not. Thanks, Mr. Gass.
My mom has since sent one to us via the USPS. I'm anxious to see how that turns out.
Never heard of a king cake? It's as big a part of the carnival season as the parades and the beads; for more info go here or here or here.