Monday, August 31, 2009

King Cake

This post is out of season, but I was going through some pictures from New Orleans and I found some delicious King Cake photos. These photos just got me reminiscing of fresh baked custard filled cake from Rouse's, and Cream Cheese, Caramel and Pecan cake from PJ's Coffee, and then the classic and simple cinnamon cake from Winn Dixie or Roberts. Needless to say, I wanted to dedicate a post to this delicious New Orleans treat.

I'll leave it to Cajun Dictionary to define a King Cake for you. "A ring shaped oval pastry, decorated with colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple, green, and gold, which represent justice, faith, and power. A small plastic baby is hidden inside the cake. Tradition requires that the person who gets the baby in their piece must provide the next King Cake."

The cakes are in every store in the greater New Orleans area from January-March. They also pop up for various other holidays, I've seen Mother's Day King Cakes, but the tradition is for them to be consumed during Carnival.
Haydel's Bakery is popular, I've heard so many people claim Haydel's has the best. I've had Haydel's and it was alright, it was a traditional King Cake and I actually prefer the flavored ones so I'd say it wasn't the best I ever had. The two best king cakes I had during Carnival 2009 came from Rouses grocery store and Marguerite's Cakes. The cake from Rouses was freshly baked, the custard filling melted in my mouth and filled me with joy. Oh, I still can taste it.
The cake from Marguerite's came from my work. Every week the Slidell bakery delivered 12 cakes to our cafe and within 24 hours we were sold out. The cakes went so fast, I never even saw them in the store because I didn't work when they were delivered. Well I walked to the cafe on a day off to claim one for myself one afternoon. Everyone I talked to said the Pecan one is the best, and I was not disappointed. I think I ate half the cake myself.

The thing with king cakes is that while the cake is good, the fun is in hiding or avoiding or being the one to discover the baby. It all depends on who you are. For me, this year I wanted the baby because it was my first year and everyone had stories of getting the baby. After several failed attempts, I got three or four by the time Mardi Gras came around. Next year, I won't be too excited about finding it because buying king cakes can get pretty expensive. Hiding the baby and watching someone else discover it is pretty fun.

Also good is PJ's Coffee seasonal flavored coffee, King Cake, only available during Carnival. It is like drinking king cake, seriously. Kind of weird, kind of delicious.

1 comment:

Amanda S. said...

Mmm, King Cake. I traveled 25 miles to Maryland by public transportation (including 2 miles on foot) in 35-degree weather this past Mardi Gras for King Cake for Catholic Forum. My friend Mike and I each carried 4 cakes in 40-mph winds without dropping any. And... it was worth it!

The pecan one looks delicious.

By the way, I got your ADORABLE card today. You're so sweet. :-)