Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez - Mardi Gras, King Cake, Tradition

While cleaning up the blog we came across this and thought it would be fun to do a repost and move the recipe for King Cake over to our food blog, Divas Cuisine.  If you get a chance to make them, do so and let us know what you think- they are delicious and traditional for a reason.

This year, (2011) Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, March 8.  Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”, is the last day of the carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Three of the four little divas were born in Louisiana, so King Cake and Mardi Gras are something we are very familiar with.

You can get a version of King Cake in the markets here but you really shouldn't, they don't taste anything like what you get in Louisiana.

Devon had a Mardi Gras Party  with her French Club, and when she found out that no-one else was bringing one (you can order them online but they are pretty pricey) she kinda sorta told her teacher she'd see what we could do meaning she'd get Kyra to agree and I'd somehow be dragged along for the fun. ;-)
After much, much searching we found this recipe and changed it up a teeny tiny bit- they used colored icings, we NEVER got a cake with colored icing in LA, just the white icing with colored sugars so that's what we did.

Kyra went crazy looking hither and yon for the plastic babies to tuck inside and she finally found them in a very out of the way place in Hobby Lobby (they are ugly and not quite the same and she had to take the blankets they were wrapped in off, but they will work.

These were the only beads we could find anywhere in town- they still have leftover Valentines stuff, go figure. At least we had a few to decorate the cakes with.

The recipe we used makes two smallish King Cakes so we sent them both in for the party but we did manage a wee little taste and man oh man they are good like we remember real king cakes tasting- I really LOVE the sour cream in the dough.

They are obviously homemade, but were very much enjoyed by all despite not being perfect.

The King Cake Story (The Sun Herald)
The King Cake is believed to have been brought to New Orleans, Louisiana, from France in the 1870's. It evolved from the Twelfth Night or Epiphany pastry made by those early settlers. They added their own touches with the Spanish custom of choosing Twelfth Night royalty.
A King Cake is shaped like a crown to represent the kings.
A dried bean or pea was hidden inside the cake and whoever found it received a year of good luck and was treated as royalty for that day. Starting around the 1930s, a tiny naked baby was used instead of the bean or pea. The baby can be pink, brown, or golden. Some people believe that the baby represents the baby Jesus because Twelfth Night was when the three kings found the baby in Bethlehem.
The payback for being king or queen for the day is that person has to buy the king cake for the next day
King Cake season lasts throughout Mardi Gras from Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day. (Fat Tuesday)
The royal colors of purple, green and gold on the cake honors the three kings who visited the Christ child on Epiphany.
Purple represents Justice.Green stands for Faith.Gold signifies Power.
The three colors appeared in 1872 on a Krewe of Rex carnival flag especially designed for the visiting Grand Duke of Russia. He came to New Orleans just for the carnival, and the universal colors remain his legacy.

XOXOX  The Divas

If you try out the King Cake recipe, let us know how you liked it.
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