Friday, February 8, 2013

My First King Cake: Comedy & Tragedy in the Kitchen

It's Mardi Gras time and what does that mean?  Time to make a King Cake!!
When I was back home in Cincy for the holidays- I made a stop at Jungle Jims new Eastgate location to stock up on hard-to-find ethnic delicacies.  As I strolled down the 'Soul Food' aisle- I caught sight of the King Cake mix and had to buy it.  I planned on making this for my coworkers when I got back to work in January, but the office is on a company-wide health kick and well....King Cake is just full sugary temptation to fall off the wagon.  Instead, I decided to make the cake in honor of my man, Jimmy, who's about to visit me from his new town of NOLA.

Oh boy, where do I begin here.
My mother sent me a link to an article about a New Orleans bakery that made uniquely filled King Cakes- one in particular was made with apples and goat cheese.  This inspired me to want to make my King Cake with some fancy-schmancy out-of-the-ordinary filling.  So when I was on the phone with Jimmy, we tossed some ideas around and thought- ooh, goat cheese with orange marmalade might be good!  Does sound yummy, but I always like to take things to another level and remembered that I used orange marmalade in a Jezebel sauce I made last week.  Oooh....goat cheese and Jezebel sauce filled King Cake....mmm-mmm!  Southern foods overload.
Oh, and by the way, if you want the background on what a King Cake is...please click here.  And same goes for Jezebel sauce, click here.

After a little trip to the grocery store tonight, I got down to business and started following recipe on the cake mix box.  First I made the dough...

Then rolling it out....

And then forming it into the 15" x 22" rectangle as per the instructions.  My quilting ruler came in handy for the measuring....

I prepared my filling, the said Jezebel sauce, manipulated from a recipe I found on Southern Living's website.  Here are my ingredients:  Raw Honey, Apricot Preserves, Orange Marmalade, Limoncello syrup, Crushed Pineapples, Horseradish, Crushed Red Pepper, and some homemade Dijon Mustard I made a week ago.  In my King Cake filling version of this sauce, I used more of the sweet and fruity ingredients and a little less of the spicy, pungent ingredients, so as to not overpower the cake.

I whisked all the ingredients together on medium low heat and voila!  Jezebel Sauce!

Continuing on with the cake process, I smoothed out a cream cheese filling with praline sugar (which was included in the cake mix), and added crumbled goat cheese:

After the goat cheese, came the Jezebel sauce.  And that's when my King Cake turned into a tragic comedy.  Blame it on that tawdry Jezebel, I say!

One very important thing I forgot to do was to wait for the Jezebel sauce to fully cool down before I drizzled it into my King Cake.  I learned that after I jelly-rolled the cake and watched it become a soppy mess.  I won't show you the tragedy, but I will show you the comedic aftermath:

All that, even after I sang a King Cake song to the Pastry Gods.  Ah live, you learn.

Not wanting to make another sacrifice, I salvaged the goopy King Cake and carried on regardless!
Here it is, baked, after coming out of the oven:

Yes, this King's not a pretty one.  Reminds me of a cross between a Sbarro Calzone and Java the Hut, but beauty's only skin deep.  What's on the inside counts, right?!  Goat cheese & Jezebel, hell yeah!

So with a little finessing & festooning, glazing and sprinkling- the cake was decorated and the baby was placed safely in the middle.  With a pirate flag.  To make it look tough....and possibly summon the spirit of Jean Lafitte.......arrrrrggghhhh, oui, oui!

Although my finished kitchen creation doesn't look very appetizing, I sampled a little bite and I was very pleased with the goat cheese/ Jezebel sauce filling.  Presentation went out the door here, but taste was not compromised!

Some day I will revisit making the King Cake again, but until then,
'Have a Little Mercy on Me!'

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