Symphony Square's Native NOLA Chef Shares Classic Mardi Gras Recipe: King Cake
"Let the Good Times Roll" - or as they say in New Orleans "Laissez les bons temps rouler" - sets the mood that captures the heart and soul of Mardi Gras celebrations this week in New Orleans.
King Cake is a classic and traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras treat. And Vincent LaMonte, Executive Chef at Symphony Square Assisted Living in Bala Cynwyd has the authentic pedigree to share a King Cake recipe.
A native of New Orleans AND an "Emeril" alum - having cooked on the staff of three of Emeril Lagasse's iconic restaurants in New Orleans - shares a recipe that may take you all afternoon to bake, but will give your "Fat Tuesday" celebrations the full-flavors that natives of NOLA experience every year.
Residents of Symphony Square Assisted Living will enjoy this treat without any baking. Chef LaMonte's kitchen will do all the work, as he plans a complete Mardi Gras menu filled with the traditions of his beloved hometown.
King Cake Recipe:
Total Time: 4 hours Yield: 10-12 servings
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 to 5 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
5 egg yolks
1 King Cake "Baby"
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Purple, green and gold sugar crystals
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes. Combine 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, lemon rind and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. With additional flour knead until dough is not sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl.
Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a circle then shape the dough into a ring, about 30 inches long. Place the it on a buttered baking sheet pinching ends together to seal. Press the King Cake Baby, into the ring from the bottom. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. Assemble by drizzling cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
"Laissez les bons temps rouler" from Symphony Square ~ Happy Mardi Gras and have fun!