Tuesday, January 21, 2020

CHOCOLATE FILLED KING CAKE

Who doesn't love a good King Cake? The season for King Cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day -January 6), up until the end of Shrovetide: Mardi Gras, "Fat Tuesday," or Shrove Tuesday; the day before the start of Lent.  

Epiphany comes from a Greek word that means "to show." Jesus first showed himself to the three wisemen and to the world on this day. As a symbol of this Day, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake. The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.

Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors - purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. 

Here's a really easy recipe for Chocolate-Filled King Cake. Don't forget the Baby!

Chocolate-Filled King Cake

INGREDIENTS

CAKE
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 (.25 ounce) packets active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

CHOCOLATE FILLING
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup half & half
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips

FROSTING
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-6 Tbsp hot water
Purple, Green, and Yellow sugar crystals for decoration

DIRECTIONS

CAKE

Heat milk until steaming, not boiling. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of melted butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In large bowl, dissolve 2 packets of yeast in warm water with 1 tablespoon white sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes. Mixture will look slightly creamy and begin bubbling.

When yeast mixture starts bubbling, add cooled milk mixture. Whisk in eggs. Stir in remaining white sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Beat flour into milk/egg mixture about one cup at a time. When dough pulls together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. (about 10 minutes)

Lightly oil large bowl, place dough in tbowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in  warm place until doubled in volume. (about 2-3 hours) When dough has doubled in size, turn out on ightly floured surface, and punch dough down to remove air. Divide dough in half.

CHOCOLATE FILLING

Whisk sugar, salt, flour, half and half, and egg yolks together in small saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and chocolate until chocolate melts. Let chocolate filling cool for 5 minutes.

On floured surface, roll dough halves out into large rectangles (about 10x15 inches). Brush dough with melted butter. Spread chocolate filling evenly over dough and roll up each half tightly, beginning atwide side. Bring ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on prepared cookie sheet.

With scissors, make cuts about 1/3 of way through rings at 1 inch intervals. Let cakes sit and rise in warm spot until double in size. (about 30-45 minutes)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake cakes in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.

FROSTING

While king cake is baking, mix powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add hot water, one tablespoon at time, until desired consistency.

When you take king cake out of oven, push small plastic doll into bottom of cake.

Frost while warm.

Finish with sprinkles of purple, green, and yellow sugar crystals.

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