King cake is a favorite among those celebrating Mardi Gras - learn about its history and where you can get it in Montgomery!
The way King cake is made varies wildly from region-to-region, but the celebration surrounding it – Mardi Gras – is one that reaches across the globe. However, it’s exceptionally popular in and around New Orleans during festival season. And really, Central Alabama isn’t too far from those festivities. That’s why we stopped by Alanna’s Gourmet in Montgomery to learn about King cake!
Read on to find out more, or check out the video up above!
What you may not know about King cakes is that they’ve got their roots in a whole bunch of different biblical stories. In the West, the King cake celebrates the Solemnity of Epiphany, which is commemorated on January 6. The celebrations surrounding Mardi Gras and Epiphany continue until around March 9; most celebrations happen in the first week of February.
One of the most fun aspects about King cakes is that they’re interactive past simply being edible. Most King cakes have a plastic baby “Jesus” that’s hidden in one of the slices. This is meant to celebrate Jesus, of course, but also the arrival of the Three Kings. Fava Beans have also been used to represent Jesus inside the cake. Whomever finds the baby or bean will supposedly find good luck and prosperity. However, they’re also responsible for throwing the next Mardi Gras party!
In terms of what goes into a King cake? Here’s a short list, courtesy of Epicurious:
- For the cake:
- 1 cup lukewarm milk, about 110°F
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup melted butter
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Several gratings of fresh nutmeg
- For the icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Purple, green, and gold decorative sugars
- 1 fève (fava bean) or plastic baby to hide in the cake after baking
King cake and more on Central Alabama Weekend
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While you’re here, why not check out this other cool article?