Today, Kittee and I got together after my class got out (we had a special half-day today!), and we made King Cakes together! Her mom is in town, so that was a double bonus! All three of us had fun hanging out in the kitchen and cooking together. It was such a blast. Be warned! Kittee and I are both planning on blogging all about our fun day together using the same pictures. So you should check her blog and she what she says about them too!
First things first. Kittee and Dazee have the world's cutest dog. His name is Vee and he is really beautiful. He has golden eyelashes that are about 3/4-inch long. It's amazing. I had a treat in my pocket, which is why I was able to get such a cute picture of him in the kitchen.
We mixed up our dough, using Kittee's recipe found on her website. We didn't have a mixer though, so we had to take turns kneading the dough. We made a triple batch: one for me, one for Dazee, and one for Kittee's friend. We made our dough and set it out on the porch to rise in the sunlight. Isn't that very down-home of us?! The dough rises for a while... "until it doubles in size"... so we set out on some errands.
One of our stops was George's Farmers Market - a favorite produce stand of Kittee's. This place is totally rad, just the way every good Mom 'n' Pop Southern produce stand should be - bags of nuts and beans and cans of every kind of home made pickles and preserves, local produce... I bought a few goodies including a big bag of local Louisiana Satsumas. When we got there, George was feeling pretty cranky about all the zulu coconuts they had to paint for Mardi Gras, so I didn't take his picture, but I did get this super cute picture of Kittee and George's wife Charell. She had just had a huge coffee, and she was really buzzing around. What a sweetie!
George and Charell's daughter Joyet was in the back of the shop, decorating their Zulu Coconuts. This is a Mardi Gras thing, which Kittee will surely explain better. George is part of the Zulu Krewe, and come Mardi Gras, they will parade with their float and hand out these special, very desirable, zulu coconuts to deserving revelers on the streets.
Aren't the coconuts beautiful!? Can you see, they have a big fancy Z and the "ulu"? And they're not all purple and black- she had SO MANY buckets of different colors of glitter.
Well, we came home from our errands, and look what was waiting for us on the porch! All poofy! Can you see the bump? We were very happy.
Together, we punched down the dough. Kittee was very lady-like and used one finger, while I was a big brute and punched it in with my whole fist!
Next, I rolled out the dough really wide and really long. Kittee's rolling pin is packed away, so I used this bottle of wine. You know what? It was a really freaking great rolling pin. The dough was so great - springy and smooth and elastic.
Then we mixed up some Earth Balance and cinnamon and sugar. This is a gross picture! I did not intend for it to look like I was about to eat an entire stick of Earth Balance! Ewww. For the record, when we made our second King Cake, we used a different, superior method. We just softened a couple tablespoons of EB, spread it on, and sprinkled on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Do that.
Here is my rolled out dough with Cinnamon-sugar-Earth balance mixture spread on. Next, we carefully rolled it up into a long tube. I didn't take pictures, because this was a two person job! I felt like we were wrestling a giant anaconda of king cake dough.
Then we shaped our long snake into an oval ring and set it on the pan.
do you know what? We forgot the baby! King Cakes have a little baby hidden inside, and if your slice has the baby in it, you are supposed to bring the king cake next year. That is what I have been told anyway... not like I'm suddenly some sort of King Cake expert! Well, we didn't have any of the fancy modern plastic babies, so we used the traditional method of using a dry bean.
However, we were slightly untraditional, because we used a Sharpie pen to draw a little baby in diapers on both of our beans. Kittee was suddenly possessed, and we did a whole photo shoot of her balancing the baby bean on her nose, out on the front porch.
So, we are not the first people who have forgotten the baby, and there is an established method for handling this situation. We stabbed a little slit in, and slipped in the baby bean. Then we pinched it back shut, and popped it in the oven.
While it was cooking, we mixed together sugar and some fancy food coloring paste that Kittee pulled out of her pantry. See, we made Purple, Green, and Yellow. Those are the Mardi Gras colors, and you don't mess with that. Incidentally, I am lucky to be visiting Kittee at this time, as it seems that these locals are also very picky about only eating King Cake during Mardi Gras time. The season has just officially begun, so we have the go-ahead for this culinary adventure.
See my gorgeous King Cake!? That's mine on the tinfoil, and Dazee's is down below, about to pop in the oven.
Next up, make the icing. This is powdered sugar and Cointreau liquor. There's orange zest in the batter, so we thought the orangey ness of the liquor in the glaze would be good. Kittee says that the glaze has to be thick, but *just* thin enough that you can pour it. The pouring thing is very important.
There it is, all covered in icing. No one knows where the baby is! (Except me, and Kittee, and Kittee's mom - but we're not telling!)
The next step was super fun! Sprinkling on the colored sugar! Kittee also had some super wonderful "edible glitter" that was a lighter purple, and so she added some of that to the purple zones. Isn't it crazy looking and beautiful? I was dancing in the kitchen, I was so happy. What a great time.
Here is another shot, because I am feeling boastful. Ha! I've carefully transported my special vegan king cake back home to my B&B, and tomorrow I plan to bring it to share with all the other friendly folks in my yoga course. I'm sure it will be a welcome treat after so many hours of extremely refined and esoteric conversation!
Kittee is totally rad. Believe the hype! Thanks for a wonderful day, Kittee & Kittee's Mom!