With Mardi Gras I just couldn’t include this recipe. I posted this one when I was writing under the Road Runner Cooks and it is an adaptation of a recipe by Emeril Lagasse. It is absolutely one of my favorite cakes.
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 to 5 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon oil
1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
5 egg yolks
1 orange, zested
Sugar cinnamon mixture:
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1 pecan half, or King Cake Baby
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Purple, green and gold sugar crystals
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon oil, orange zest and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.
Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6 x 12 inches rectangle.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Now cut the dough into three ribbons. These ribbons are then braided. Once the braid is completed shape the braid into a ring, tucking the ends into the braid. Place the ring onto a greased baking sheet. Press the King Cake Baby,or pecan half into the dough so that it is hidden. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cake to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle the cake with sugar crystals, alternating colors.
Have fun today!