Category Archives: Allergies

The Easiest King Cake Ever!

King Cake Edited2Pin

One of the things I miss about not living on the Alabama Gulf Coast any longer is Mardi Gras season.  The revelry and excitement in the air are almost electric.  It is one of the few things that can make a gloomy winter bright and fanciful.  The parades warm the nights with bright colors and lights and equally bright personalities from almost everyone you see.  Even the day parades make the sun seem a little bit brighter and warmer.  For this girl who lives for the life and vitality of summertime, it is a great break in the cold doldrums of winter.

Even the food seems brighter.  The locals break out their best Cajun recipes like Red Beans & Rice (check out my recipe here) Crawfish Etoueffe, Gumbo, or Shrimp and Grits.  The flavors are rich, bold and bright and for the most part so are the colors because they include a handful of wonderful ingredients.  Let’s not forget cayenne pepper which makes everything feel warm!

King Cake is one of those iconic desserts of Mardi Gras.  No carnival season is complete without one and don’t even think of having a party that doesn’t serve one.  Anyone who lives within driving distance of New Orleans or Mobile has at least one grocery store that sells King Cake.  Our Publix, Kroger and Walmart shopping centers all carried them this year.  And my town is at least 357 miles from Government Street.  Not only that, my daughter’s peanut and tree nut allergy means no bakery items.  So, I decided to make my own.

I must admit that I had visions of grandeur and I thought I would make one from scratch using this recipe from Sucre courtesy of Sucre New Orleans.  But my yeast didn’t rise, my butter was too cold and didn’t incorporate well so I threw that dough away much to the dismay of my children.  Once you tell the kids you are doing something fun and different if you don’t follow through it just makes life more difficult.  Knowing that I still had to produce a King Cake, I decided to use a cheat and with wonderful success!

Here is the recipe for my cheater Quick and Easy King Cake!

1 package of Pillsbury Flakey Cinnamon Twists

Green, Yellow and Purple Sanding Sugar

Preheat oven according to package directions.

Open package and set icing aside.

Unroll twists.

Take two and roll into one long piece of dough, preferably with the cinnamon on the inside.

After that twist two of the dough ropes loosely together.  Do this twice.  You will end up with two big rope pieces of dough.

Place these in a circle on a greased cookie sheet and press the ends together to connect both sections of the circle.

It will take a little longer than the 10 minutes the instructions on package direct because you have increased the density of the dough.  It took mine about 14 minutes to bake completely.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, open the icing and stir it.  Mine was very thick so I added a drop or two of pure Vanilla Extract and a drop of milk.

Remove the cooled King Cake Circle, to a platter and a pour icing onto the cake.  Sprinkle the colored sanding sugar in blocks of purple, yellow, and green.  Don’t forget to place the baby underneath the cake!

 

 

 

 

 

THE Birthday Cake

Frozen Cake 2015bPin

The cake is the cornerstone of a traditional birthday party.  If we were playing $10,000 Pyramid (which is one of the best games shows in TV history) and the phrase to guess was “Things at a Birthday Party”, I would bet cake would be the first clue.  Every year as her birthday approaches, I struggle and worry about Lydia’s birthday cake.  She has a peanut and tree nut allergy and bakery cakes are not an option.  There are enough birthday parties that she attends for friends where she can’t eat the cake so I  smuggle a cupcake or Oreos in for her.  For her special celebration, she needs to have a cake she can eat.

I can cook and I can bake; my cakes are always fluffy and moist and my brownies are only crusty on the edges.  I know that in baking, science and accurate measuring make all the difference in the world.  Here is my public service announcement for the day, a wet measure and a dry measure are not the same.  Please don’t swap them out and expect the same result.  *climbs off of soap-box*   My problem isn’t worry over the way the food will taste but rather how it will look.  I am no cake decorator and the cake in my head hardly ever is presented on the plate.  If I could talk Lydia into a bundt cake we’d be in business but she always asks for a  character cake.

I am not sure what was going through my mind when I bought the tiered cake pan set other than, “I saw tiered Elsa cakes on Pinterest.  How hard can it be?”  It took three days of baking and decorating and I was most pleased with how the snowflakes turned out.  I ordered this Chocolate Mold from Amazon.com because I could not find candy snowflakes to purchase for less than $50 and I am not exaggerating.  I simply filled the molds with Candy Quick purchased from Wal-Mart.  The chocolate set up in minutes and tasted yummy!  All the kids at the party wanted snowflakes on their slice of cake.  Also, if you are also baking a peanut & tree nut allergy friendly cake, do not use Wilton’s Candy Melts.  In fact, I haven’t found anything from Wilton that doesn’t have an allergy warning for peanuts and tree nuts.

I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I think I might need to invest in some cake decorating classes at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.   My biggest fear now is that I’ll need to make her wedding cake one day!

It certainly wasn’t a professional job but her smile told me that the cake was exactly what she had imagined.