Tuesday, February 21, 2012

old man king cake

king cake 2009
Happy Fat Tuesday!

Three years ago, I decided to go all out for Mardi Gras and make a big pot of jambalaya and bake a King Cake. This was problematic not just because I had never made a King Cake before, but because, being from Virginia, I had never even seen, much less tasted, an authentic King Cake.

I didn't let that stop me. Per my usual fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and do-shit-at-the-last-minute fashion, I believe I embarked on this project around 9 pm on the Monday before. The date stamp on these photos shows the cake coming out of the oven at 3 am. And this was when I was working an office job full-time. WHAT?

Anyway, a King Cake is not just a regular mix-some-flour-sugar-eggs-and-milk-together-and-pop-it-in-the-oven kind of cake. A King Cake involves yeast. And rising. In fact, a King Cake isn't really a cake at all. It's more like bread. With icing.

Not only that, you have to roll the dough around a cheesy filling and then shape the whole thing into a ring. This did not work out so well. There was some swearing. There was some exploding of the cheese filling. And there was some mashing of the dough before stuffing the whole thing in the oven at who-knows-what Godforsaken hour. My King Cake was not-so-much shaped in a ring. It was more like a smashed U. Close enough.

When the King Cake came out of the oven, it looked like the face of an old man. The cheese filling had oozed out and it looked just like Old Man King Cake was sticking his tongue out at me. Jerk.
king cake 2009
"Neener neener! You suck!"
king cake 2009
As for how it tasted? It was decent the first day, but after that? Day-old King Cake tastes like dried-up stale coffee cake. Since I've never tasted a real King Cake before, I have no idea if this is authentic. Regardless, I won't be baking King Cake ever again. A donut from Krispy Kreme would make a good substitute.

And this year? I think I'll celebrate Fat Tuesday with a beer instead.

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