Friday, January 09, 2009

King Cake With Kittee!

Hello Friends!
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!

31 comments:

  1. Next time you come over, can we do some more nose balancing activities? I think that was the highlight of my day, besides you and my mom'n'em.

    Get to bed, woman!

    xo
    kittee

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also,
    Dazee got the wee white bean baby in the first slice!
    From Dazee:
    "obama, obama, obama, oba, oba"
    xo
    kittee

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderfully joyous day you had!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am seriously jealous of your adventures with Kittee. Holy cow, you two had some rockin fun making that cake. It looks delicious and beautiful to boot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am going to have another whiny fit! I want to meet Kittee! I want to hang out with you AND Kittee! Not fair! Not fair! I want a king cake, please.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, I'm looking for information about Snake wine, do you have any ?
    This is Snake wine:
    http://www.asiansnakewine.com/
    I found your website on Google when searching other shops to buy Snake liquor but I can't find any information here, can you help?

    thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. yay! i just have to cheer, that looks like such fun. i've never made or eaten king cake, but it's always an impressive sight. more so when such cool women are making it.

    thanks so much for the card and recipe booklet! i just recently got my mail (held over the holidays) and it was a great unexpected treat. your card is on my fridge being extremely cute.

    and now (how's this for an appropriate sign off?!) i'm off to yoga class.

    best,
    emilie

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks like so much fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vee is so precious!!

    AMAAAAAZING King Cakes!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like you had so much fun! Hiding a "baby" in the bread is a weird tradition, but it would be fun to get the piece with it hidden inside.

    ReplyDelete
  11. way cool. i would have punched the sucker too.lol.

    ReplyDelete
  12. LOVED the blog! What a great combo: friend, cooking, cute dog, farmer's market ... a superior day altogether. Sounds like you're feeling much better.

    XO Mom

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not familiar with King Cake, but that sure does sound like a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  14. How fun! I'm totally jealous of all the fun and all the yumminess. Vee is the cutest ever! Plus he gets extra points for his quirky OCD, see how he's sitting exactly in the middle of the rug? Totally done on purpose! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This made my day, how awesome! I cannot freaking wait until Mardi Gras!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I loved this post! Felt like I was with you two having fun in the big easy! I cannot wait to read more about the Zulu coconuts - I hope Kittee will oblige!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You guys are amazing! What fun... Now I totally want to make a king cake this year, too!

    ReplyDelete
  18. huzzah for more fun with kittee, her mom, and friends! Vee is the cutest, too!

    that's so cool you got to go to George's Farmers Market! the King Cake looks the best, and i loooove the beanie baby, too! wahoooooooo!

    ReplyDelete
  19. praline apple king cake, hup!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yea for Kittee and king cakes! I've never made one, but this year, I intend to use Kittee's recipe from Papa Tofu! I wish I could afford to drive down for Mardi Gras.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous4:45 AM

    Is it safe to have something with marker ink on it (the bean) mixed with food?
    All that colored sugar...blech.
    (Sorry--I usually love your stuff!)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hey Anonymous!
    No need for apologies, I totally get it! Yeah, I thought of the thing with the bean and the sharpie too... but I figured it was such a TINY amount... and was happy to see that the drawing on the bean was very intact when my friend Michael got it on his slice.
    The whole King Cake thing is definitely a big crazy weirdo indulgence! I'll go back to my usual whole foods, cooking from the farmers market approach once I'm back home!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Could you please contact ken@1800blogger.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Don't come home without Vee! He's too cute! I'm glad to see your having a great time. Peaceful travels! -Sandy

    ReplyDelete
  25. haha it looks like you had bunches of fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fun! The cakes look delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your King Cake Amey!! How cool that you got to learn from the master of vegan king cakes. I'll bet it was an awesome time. Laughed at your photo of you looking like you were gonna eat EB!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ok now. First off, hands off our dog! FC* Vee is staying in NOLA, with his mama and pappy, thank you very much. As for the colored sugar, it's quite possible to use natural colors if that's your thing. You can pick some up at most hfs, or you can color it yourself. Purple from blueberries, green from spirulina and yellow from turmeric. This is how our local Whole Foods color them, so I know it's a possibility.

    *Fluffy Cute

    xo
    kittee

    ReplyDelete
  29. You guys are too cute! Looks like so much fun! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ah i love that cake it looks amazing! Loving the balancing baby picture too!! Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  31. King cakes are so colorful and they must have been a blast to make with Kittee.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, they really make my day!