Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Colorful Big Cinnabon! Disguised as a King Cake

A third King Cake- New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake
Plush, silver and gold jesters, or flamboyant bright-colored feathers floating on cold white masks are stacked high in stores in Venice, Italy.  As you walk down the narrow sidewalks, and cross the canal over the Rialto bridge, you can imagine how Venetians used to celebrate Shrove Tuesday and the preceding two months several centuries back.
Only two hundred years ago, in 1867, Galveston, Texas, also began its carnival celebration during the same season, before Lent. There are traces of the Mardi Gras enthusiasm all year-round, with tell-tale metallic-colored neclaces on display or for sale in shops, reminding locals and tourists of the carnival bead-throwing tradition.
In addition to sharing the bead-throwing pastime, Galveston´s neighbor, New Orleans, is located only 60 km to the south of  a place called "Mardi Gras Point" by a French Canadian  Explorer in 1699. After New Orleans was established, it began its carnival celebrations in the 1730s. 
The French that went to Louisiana from Canada took their King´s cake tradition with them around the 1850´s. When the first carnivals started shortly after, in 1872 it was said that a Russian visitor chose the Carnival colors. The next year, they voted on what the colors stood for--green for faith, purple for justice and gold for power.
Colorful French Market, where you can find the Mardi Gras King Cake all year-round, in New Orleans
This Mardi Gras King Cake is eaten in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday (which is on February 21st this year). It is either a brioche or Danish-like pastry filled with cinnamon and butter and frosted with a white creamy glaze. You can find the Mardi Gras King Cake year-round, however, at the French Market. King Cake Salesmen cry at the stand that sells not only traditional king cakes, but apple-filled, pastry cream or cream-cheese filled cakes as well: "Oh, this is so good... it is so good.."
Before the Civil War the "bean" placed in the King Cake, in Louisiana, was gold, silver, diamonds, or other valuable; after that, it was peas, beans, pecans, or coins.


Here´s my first Mardi Gras King "cake wreck":

The second time around I decided to make a cinnamon roll recipe instead, and chose a mock cinnabon recipe:


a.Cinnamon Roll Dough
b.Mock cinnabon frosting
c. Green, purple, and yellow food coloring
d. Mardi gras bead neclace

a.Cinnamon Roll Dough  Find ingredients at the following link: ( )

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat milk and add yeast when lukewarm. Add butter, salt, eggs, white sugar and flour; then knead 8 minutes. Let it rise for 2 hours. Roll out dough into 16 x 21 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter on the dough; sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll into a long cylinder. Cut into 12 pieces. Let rise for forty minutes. Place in oven and bake the rolls for 15 minutes. Take out of oven and cool for 10 minutes before applying the frosting.

b. Mock Cinnabon frosting (Find recipe at: )

Beat ingredients with mixer until creamy and fluffy. Divide into three equal parts, and color each differently, with the purple, yellow and green food coloring. Once the bread has cooled, apply with spatula on cinnamon rolls or King Cake.

Once the rolls come out of the oven and they´ve cooled, frost them in the Mardi Gras colors: green, yellow, and purple, and place some beads around them. 

After you´ve admired your own King Cake decoration, cut it into pieces and enjoy! Here´s what it looks like inside:

References   (green-faith, purple-justice, gold-power) video

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