Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Our first King Cake!

It's always around the time of Mardi Gras approaching that Loyal starts getting a little homesick.  We listen to upbeat Jazz music that you would normally hear flooding the busy streets of the French Quarter, singing and dancing while we cook breakfast.  Loyal yearns for any and everything New Orleans and one of the biggest things that he misses about home is the food. Allllll of the food!  The cajun cuisine of New Orleans just simply can't be replicated anywhere else and baked goods here in Atlanta don't even hold a flame to the fresh bakeries in New Orleans.

I think that when most people think of Mardi Gras, they think of parties, parades, and colorful festivities that decorate the streets of New Orleans.  You will see the most extravagant costumes, elaborate floats going down the music filled streets, and strings of beads lining every railing and tree branch throughout the city.  But what many don't know is that there is one major staple that comes with Mardi Gras in New Orleans and that is the King Cake.

Loyal thought it would be fun if we tried to make our own King Cake!  We did our research and after weeding through a bunch of recipes, we found the most traditional looking King Cake that we were ready to take a stab at.
There are many different King Cakes but our favorite is Haydel's Bakery.  Their traditional King Cake is made of a danish dough that is hand braided to ensure ribbons of cinnamon spread throughout.  King Cakes are lathered with icing and topped with a generous amount of dyed sugar in vibrant Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. 
Braiding the dough is a very essential part of the King Cake process.  This really gets the cinnamon flavor distributed throughout the cake and in my opinion, this is what makes every bite of a King Cake so amazing.
We had so much fun making this!  Loyal had the music going, the kids were beyond excited, and we all just really enjoyed doing this as a family.  For our first King Cake, we were so impressed with how it came out.  The dough was pretty spot on and tasted exactly like the King Cakes in New Orleans!  The icing needed a little more experimenting because we both felt like the recipe was a little off from the original.  And next time I will buy purple dye because mixing red and blue somehow came out brown for me.  Still a win though!
If you are interested, we used this recipe here or you can save yourself some time and order straight for Haydel's
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