So like New Orleans. . . in most places, people have put away their Christmas decorations and started their New Year’s diet. In New Orleans, while the Christmas decorations may have been put away, we have put up the Carnival decorations and everyone is eating king cake! So many traditions, so much yummy goodness.
Now that Twelfth Night is past, Carnival is in full swing. So… it is king cake all the time. King cake is traditionally a brioche dough that has a cinnamon filling and is rolled up and shaped into a ring, which represents the crowns of the kings (wise men). Today, the king cake may be filled with anything from cream cheese to fruit and nuts. They are drizzled with frosting and sprinkled with colored sugars. The three colors of sugar are Purple (representing Justice), Green (representing Faith) and Gold (representing Power).
Even before Twelfth Night, we began seeing king cakes for sale in our favorite stores.
The king cake parties begin on January 6th and continue through Mardi Gras. In each king cake, a small plastic baby is hidden. Whoever gets the baby is bound by tradition to furnish the king cake for the next king cake party (or at least supply the next king cake at the office). In times past, the baby may have been made of porcelain, or even gold. In some places, the baby is replaced by a simple bean.
If you can’t run to your local grocery and pick up a king cake, you can always make your own. Here is a recipe in a past post for a no bake king cake – a tasty short cut!
There is also a great king cake mix available here that you can use. When I lived in Arkansas, I got one of these mixes online and made it for my Mardi Gras party, and it was a huge hit.
Happy Carnival everyone . . . hope you get to enjoy some king cake this year! If you would like to purchase the king cake mix, click on the picture above.