By Carla Bass – City Editor
It may not be conducive for everyone to send to New Orleans or go by Tubbs Hardware in Bossier to pick up some of the best Traditional King Cakes for Mardi Gras; but this one can be turned into a family affair; taking a shortcut making your own King Cake for dessert this weekend. It is a great way to top off any Cajun favorite from Gumbos to Rice dishes.
Pillsbury Crescent Dough King Cake
Canned crescent dough replaces a long-rising yeasted dough, and colored sugar replaces dyed royal icing to make the wide stripes of color —purple for justice, green for faith, and yellow for power—traditional on a Mardi Gras King Cake. Those two shortcuts make this the easiest king cake ever.
- 2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough
- Purple, green, and gold colored sugar or sprinkles
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
- ½ cup Bits o’ Brickle chips (0ptional)
- Dried bean, whole almond, or ceramic figure token to represent the “baby”
- Med. Solid pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Open and separate your refrigerated crescent roll dough. Form a wreath on the sheet with the wide portion of triangle to the outside and the point toward the center, overlapping the edges.
Cream your cheese and brown sugar together. Spread them into a circle on the dough wreath.
Sprinkle your raisins, pecans, and brickle over the mixture. Begin folding the outer edges of the dough over the filling. Continue folding by pulling the points back up over the wider portions of dough until the ring is well covered.
If you plan to decorate with sugar brush on the egg wash before adding the stripes of colored sugars. (Egg wash: 1 beaten egg whisked with 2 tablespoons milk, applied with pastry brush to outer surface)
Whether sugared or not, bake at 350 F until golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. You may also decorate with royal icing, which will be applied after the cake is done
- 1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
- 4 egg whites (or 1/2 cup liquid egg whites)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Optional: food coloring in desired colors
How to Make It
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy.
- Switch to low speed and gradually sift the sugar into the egg whites until it’s completely incorporated. Then add the lemon juice and beat on high speed until the icing is very thick and forms stiff peaks, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- At this point, you can add the food coloring (if desired), if you’re only going to need a full batch of one color. But if you need more than one color, separate whatever quantities of icing you need into individual bowls and just stir in the coloring you want.
You can thin the icing out with water, depending on how thick you want it. A good technique is to pipe the borders with the straight icing, and then thin it out to fill in the centers.
You should use the royal icing right away or store it in an airtight container because it will harden quickly when exposed to the air. You can store it for a few days in the fridge, as long as it’s in an airtight container.
Now that your dessert is ready, let it accompany any of the Cajun or Creole recipes your family enjoys. One of ours is Dirty Rice.
Dirty Rice – As dirty as you like it
2 boxes Uncle Bens Original Wild Rice
1 lb. ground lean beef, seasoned and browned
1 lb. ground sausage, seasoned and browned
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce
Powdered or fresh garlic
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
½ cup chopped green onions
½ tsp. basil
¼ tsp. gumbo file’
½ stick of butter
Optional: 1 pkg. deveined salad shrimp or,
1 pkg. frozen crawfish tails
Small can mushroom stems & pieces chopped
In a large deep skillet, crumble the meats you intend to use and season with herbs, garlic, and steak seasoning to taste. Brown well, and drain the grease.
Add your seafood if you wish, and the 2 boxes of Uncle Ben’s, following the directions on the box, blending all the ingredients together.
Cover, simmer on low until the liquid cooks away.
Serve with a salad, possibly a Natchitoches Meat pie on the side, and you will have a wonderful dinner fit for Mardi Gras!
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