Sunday, September 19, 2010

King Cake Bread Pudding with Brandy Crème Anglaise

Here's the King Cake Bread Pudding recipe for the King Cake featured in my last post, Second Annual Coronado Jubilee, a Southern-Style Seafood Boil. That post was getting a little lengthy, but I wanted to share this recipe.

A king cake is a type of cake associated with the festival of Epiphany in the Christmas season in a number of countries, and in other places with Mardi Gras and Carnival. The king cake of the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of bread, similar to that used in brioche, and topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Carnival colors). There are many variants, some with a filling, the most common being cream cheese and praline. The cakes have a small trinket (often a small plastic baby) inserted inside. It has become customary in the New Orleans culture that whoever finds the trinket in their serving of cake must provide the next king cake.

Since we weren't celebrating Mardi Gras, and don't have readily available King Cakes in our Southern California markets at any time of year, I made my own from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse. I omitted the icing and colored sugar sprinkles since it was being used for bread pudding.

King Cake Bread Pudding
From Robert St. John's Dispatches from My South, Reflections and Recipes from a Southern Food Scribe
(8-10 servings)

2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
8 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 8-10 inch round cream cheese-filled King Cake (I used Emeril’s recipe, below)

Put the milk, cream, and half of the sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. While the milk mixture is heating, place the remaining sugar, egg yolks, whole eggs, vanilla and salt into a stainless steel mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk beat the egg mixture until it becomes light yellow in color. Slowly begin adding the hot milk to the beaten eggs, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.

Cut the King Cake into 2-inch-thick slices. Pour half the custard into a 2-quart round baking dish (9-inch diameter). Submerge the King Cake slices in the custard. Pour the remaining custard over the top, cover the baking dish, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the covering from the refrigerated bread pudding and gently press down the King Cake so that the custard completely covers the surface. Over the bread pudding with a piece of parchment paper, and then cover the paper with a piece of aluminum foil.

Place the baking dish in a roasting pan, and fill the roasting pan with hot water, until the water reaches halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake the bread pudding for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and parchment paper and bake for 15 additional minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the pudding to rest for 1 hour before serving. Serve with Brandy Crème Anglaise.

I had a few extra King Cake slices and enough custard, after filling the 2-quart round baking dish, to make a few individual Bread Puddings in small ramekins.


Brandy Crème Anglaise
From Robert St. John's Dispatches from My South, Reflections and Recipes from a Southern Food Scribe

1 cup cream
½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup brandy
¾ cup sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium stainless steel saucepan, bring the cream, half-and-half, brandy, half of the sugar and vanilla to a simmer. While it is heating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium mixing bowl and whip until pale yellow in color.

Slowly begin adding the hot cream mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly until all the cream mixture has been added. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat a spoon.

Remove from the heat and cool down in an ice bath. This sauce may be made 2-3 days in advance.


King Cake with Cream Cheese
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 envelopes active dry yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup warm milk (about 110?F)
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
4 ½ cups bleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Confectioners’ sugar
½ cup flour for working surface, and kneading into dough if needed

Combine the yeast and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the melted butter and warm milk. Beat at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the egg yolks, and beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest and beat until everything is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and starts to climb up the dough hook.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, knead the dough into a smooth ball, using a little extra flour if necessary. Lightly oil a bowl with the vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Blend by hand or with an electric mixer on low speed. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your fingers, pat it out into a rectangle about 30 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Spread the filling lengthwise over the bottom half of the dough, and then flip the top half of the dough over the filling. Seal the edges, pinching the dough together. Shape the dough into a cylinder and place it on the prepared baking sheet seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring and pinch the ends together so there isn’t a seam.

Cover the ring with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.

Brush the top of the risen cake with 2 tablespoons of the milk. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.


Rather than a small plastic baby as the trinket, I used a small plastic Newfoundland dog, of course!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes for your King Cake Bread Pudding. It was delicious, especially with the Brandy Creme Anglaise. Excellent.

Carmen said...

I've had a lot of king cake and just as much bread pudding and I'm here to say that your dessert was Dixillicious! And I'll always consider it a tribute to your love for The Breed. You're such a good Newf Mama!