A recipe to enjoy Mardi Gras
Having an allergy or food sensitivity is no fun when it is time for a celebration. When food affects a person’s gut, a not so memorable experience is had with family and friends as they gather to celebrate an occasion or holiday. My native hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday. The traditional pastry of the Mardi Gras season is called a king cake. King cake is a pastry shaped in a ring, originally filled with cinnamon sugar, and decorated with sugar sprinkles in the three colors of Mardi Gras – purple, green, and gold. A surprise miniature plastic baby or bean is hidden in the pastry after baking.
Tradition has it that the person to find the surprise in their piece of king cake is King or Queen for a day. And thus, is responsible for sharing another king cake at the next Mardi Gras party during the season. Fat Tuesday, the final celebration of the Mardi Gras season, falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent in the Christian faith. In honor of Fat Tuesday on this upcoming Tuesday February 21st, below is a recipe to make your own king cake at home. A gluten free bread mix is used to make this king cake edible for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
If unable to bake a king cake and you would like to celebrate the Mardi Gras season, you may special order gluten free King Cake Cupcakes from a local bakery Batch Cupcakery, Midtown Reno. Visit batchcupcakery.com for details.
King Cake – The Traditional Mardi Gras Pastry – Recipe
• 4 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Bread Mix
• 3 teaspoons instant yeast ( 1 packet included in Pamela’s Gluten Free Bread Mix)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 3 large eggs at room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup milk, warm
• 3/4 cup water, warm
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
• Purple, green, and gold decorative sugar
1. Combine the filling ingredients – brown sugar and cinnamon – in a bowl and set aside.
2. Mix the first six dough ingredients – gluten free bread mix, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest (optional), baking powder – in a bowl of a stand mixer.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet dough ingredients – melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, warm milk, warm water.
4. Add the wet dough ingredients to the dry dough ingredients. Using the hook attachment of a stand mixer, mix the ingredients together on high/medium speed for 3 minutes.
5. Transfer the batter to a large piping bag (I used a gallon size zip bag). Push the batter down in the zip bag and twist, then cut a 1 inch slit in the corner of the bag. Carefully, squeeze 1/3 – 1/2 of the dough out of the bag onto a parchment paper – lined baking sheet, making an oval shape.
6. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar filling ingredients over the oval batter ring until all exposed dough is covered (I used a fine mesh strainer).
7. Next, squeeze the remaining dough out of the zip bag in a zig zag motion over the oval ring. Using wet fingertips, manually spread the batter to cover all exposed cinnamon covered dough.
8. Allow the oval shaped king cake ring to rise in a warm place in the kitchen for at least 2 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator). I used the 2 hour rise method.
9. To bake, preheat the oven to 350F.
10. Brush the top of the king cake with a few tablespoons of milk for moisture. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar filling over the top of the king cake (again, I used a fine mesh strainer to completely cover the king cake).
11. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread is 200F.
12. Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes or longer to room temperature.
13. Prepare icing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle icing over king cake and immediately sprinkle with purple, green, and gold decorative sugars.
Note: Dairy free milk alternatives can be used.
This recipe has been adapted from a gluten free king cake recipe on LauraFuentes.com