Nancy Wilson has created this easy to prepare Mardi Gras King Cake using her grandmother's brioch recipe. Six years in the making, Nancy has applied her skill and knowledge as a home economist and teach to simplify this recipe so that virtually anyone can be successful despite a lack of culinary skills. Enjoy the experience of baking your own "homemade" Mardi Gras King Cake and being able to say "I made it myself."
The tradition of sharing cake with family and friends on the Epiphany or "Little Christmas" (January 6) began in the Middle Ages. Today, this date signifies openening of the Mardi Gras season with parties and parades prior to Lenten Season. In New Orleans a pot of steaming coffee and a King Cake contitute a party. The person finding the baby in the cake must host the next party, thereby continuing social gatherings throughout the season.
Making Your Cake
For the cake you will need: 1 cup hot water (120-130 degrees), 1 egg, and 1 stick of butter or margarine.
Mix and knead in bag
Place cake mix and yeast in large recloseable bag. Seal bag and shake well. Add 1 cup hot water and 1/2 cup butter to contents of large bag. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. With fingers outside of the bag, mix by squeezing and pulling dough until butter can no longer be seen.
Add 1 egg to contents of bag. Press air from bag and seal. With fingers on outside of bag, mix and kead ingredients by squeezing and pulling dough for approximately 15 minutes (be careful not to puncture bag).
Unseal the bag. Set bag of dough in a bowl in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
Shape and Rise
Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Flour rolling pin and roll dough into 5" x 30" rectangle. Mix 2 tablespoons melted butter with brown sugar praline mix. Add nuts, if desired. Spread evenly over dough. From 30" side, roll dough jelly roll fashion. Pinch edges to seal.
Place on large cookie sheet. Shape into oval. Let rise in a warm place approximately 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Bake and Decorate
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool.
Mix 1 tablespoon water with white glaze mix. Spread on top of cooled cake. Decorate with colored sugar crystals. Place "baby" under cake. Makes 12 servings.
Alternate (EASY) directions for Heavy Duter Mixer or Food Processor
Place cake mix and yeast in bowl. Mix.
Add 1 cup very warm water and 1/2 cup of margarine. Mix well.
Add one egg. Mix well. Using appropriate blade, knead until dough pulls from side of bowl (approximately 3 1/2 minutes). Scrape dough from sides of bowl once during kneading.
Set bowl of dough in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Proceed with Shape and Rise Instructions.