Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Mardi Gras!

Today...was Fat Tuesday. A day for people to celebrate, have fun, and get stuff their faces with great food! A great coworker of mine is from the south and to honor this tradition of Mardi Gras, we decided to have a Fat Tuesday feast for lunch! All of the typical guests were present. Jambalaya, Gumbo, Cornbread, and saving my dish for last, King Cake!

King Cakes are something I had heard of, seen pictures of, but have never actually eaten. Heck, I didn't even know what went into one aside from yummy-looking frosting and colorful sugars! Oh, and you can't forget the little baby hidden inside! Click here to learn more about this tradition.

I began my quest for a great King Cake recipe online - where I also begin. I also surveyed some great women (and bakers alike) on the RB board. Lo and behold, I settled on a recipe from allrecipes.com. It had many great reviews, 4 out of 5 stars, so I figured it would be a winner.

One thing I did not realize when I volunteered myself to make our dessert, was that King Cake takes hours to prepare! My southern friend told me to save myself some time and run over to the nearest Price Chopper and buy one for $3.99. I couldn't do that. I was on a mission. I was going to bake this thing myself and it was going to be great!!

Well, I attempted. I conquered. And boy was it a success!! The "cake" (King Cake is not really a cake as we picture it to be. To my surprise and enjoyment, it is more like a cinnamon roll - a bread-like dough with a flavorful center!) was a hit!! The husband was also very thankful that we did not completely devour the cake today and I had some leftovers for him to enjoy.

The pictures, as usual (I really need to rig myself up a light box!), do not do this justice. The outside is fun and festive, and the inside is delicious. Hands down, I give this once-a-year treat a double thumbs up!

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

**NOTE** For the frosting, I strayed away from the recipe and used A LOT more than suggested. Rather than measuring, I just dumped some powdered sugar in a bowl, added a little splash of water, and stirred until it was the right consistency (adding more sugar or water, as needed).