King CakeIt’s almost Mardi Gras, a celebration of debauchery and indulgence before the 40 long days of penance and reflection.  In order to prepare us for the week of excess and bad decisions (why did I eat the entire cake?!?) stores have stocked their shelves with beads, booze, masks, and of course, King Cakes.  I am personally not a big fan of store-purchased King Cake.  I usually find them stale, overly-sweet and I am really creeped out my the plastic, naked baby that comes with the cake.

This recipe for King Cake is based on the french version, galette des rois, which his heavy on the almond flavor, but light on the creepy baby. I mean seriously, I know the baby represents baby Jesus, but  sometimes its eyes aren’t even printed in the the right spots.  I used a bean to represent baby Jesus.  Whoever finds the baby in the cake is “king”, but I don’t really know what the perks of such a kinghood entails.  I guess just bragging rights.

King CakeThe cake is incredibly easy to make, so if you are partying a little too hard this week you can make it with hangover.  Be responsible partiers people!  

I photographed each step, so you could easily make sure you were doing things correctly.

1Y2B1833The Ingredients: 

Frozen Puff Pastry

Filling:

1 1/4 cups of almond flour

1/3 cups of sugar

pinch of salt

8 table spoons of butter (unsalted)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

1 bean or baby Jesus figure  Note:  The plastics babies WILL melt in the oven!!

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400.  I don’t have a photograph of this, but just use your imagination for this step.

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Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients together.

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Step 3: Add 8 tablespoons of cut up butter and mix.

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Step 4: Add two eggs.

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Step 5: Add vanilla extract.

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Step 6: Mix until relatively smooth, but thick. Chill the filling for 20 minutes.

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Step 7: Defrost your Puff Pastry for 30 minutes. I did NOT do this and it was not as easy to work with.

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Step 8a: Cut your two pieces of puff pastry into the same size circles. I like to use a pasta bowl to help with this step.

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Step 8b: I guess you don’t really need a photo of this, but here you go. Puff pastry cut into a circle. Gripping, I know.

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Step 9: Place your filling onto the pastry. Then add your ‘baby’ to the mixture. I always warn my friends about the bean, because I don’t want them to break a tooth, but if you don’t like your friends you can let it be a mean surprise.

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Step 10: Add the top of the pastry and pinch around the edges with a fork.

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Step 11: I like to pinch around the edge as well to make a nice scalloped look.

Step 12:  Brush egg whites on the top of the cake. Oops, I forget to photo this step!

Step 13:  Cook cake for 28 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on the top.  I forgot to  photo of this as well, clearly I was distracted by partying at this point.  

king Cake

Sarah Belanger

Sarah works as a photographer and writer in North Alabama and has photographed for numerous national brands including Southern Living and Cooking Light. She also writes for several local magazines including No’Ala Magazine and Huntsville Event Magazine. See more of her work at S. Belanger Photography and keep up with her adventures at The Jealous Crumpet.