Sunday, January 22, 2012

How I Love King Cakes
I acquired my love for King Cakes when I went to visit my Louisiana born-and-raised boyfriend in Baton Rouge during Spring Break 2007.  It was right around Mardi Gras, and we saw the stacks of King Cakes at Whole Foods while grocery shopping for a romantic picnic we were having on the LSU lakes later that night.  Honestly, I thought it looked disgusting!  I usually hate cakes with white icing and THEN artificially colored sugars on top making the cake WAY too sweet.  But he told me the history behind King Cakes and stressed the importance of me at least trying it in order to have a full Louisiana Mardi Gras experience.

The thing is, after Christmas decorations come down, people start decorating and anticipating Mardi Gras.  During this in-between-holiday-time, King Cakes are the thing to share with your friends and family!  Inside every King Cake, there is a little Baby Jesus - whoever gets the Baby Jesus in their slice of cake has to bring the next King Cake!

Long story short, we brought the King Cake home - the messy looking, overly sweet looking, flimsy paper box of grocery-store cake.  "I just want a tiny sliver..." I am pretty sure I shivered a little before tasting it.  But guess WHAT!?  Even the grocery store version of this cake was awesome!

Its not REALLY a cake you see:  Under the sugar and icing is a crunchy-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside braid of bread (also called the brioche).  The bread is not very sweet at all - in fact, if you eat it on its own its almost bland.  The bread is actually six strands of bread braided together with cinnamon sugar shoved in between the strands.  Then the cake is topped with a white icing and then the colorful sugars.  The end result: not overly sweet!  The perfect dessert.

Whats even better is whats in between!  You can choose different fillings: different flavored jellies or CREAM CHEESE!   Clearly I think the cream cheese filling is the way to go.  The tanginess and saltiness of the cream cheese just adds a whole different complexity to the sensation on your taste buds.

Oooooh yummy!  And to top it all off, there is the little Baby Jesus inside.  Traditionally, the Baby Jesus is not plastic, it was a red bean!  Whoever got the bean was the "King of the Ball!" and got to throw the next Mardi Gras Ball!  But seeing as how "balls" are still so popular, the modern thing is that whoever got the bean gets to bring the next King Cake!

No comments:

Post a Comment