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If you’ve ever lived in Mobile, or New Orleans, or Lafayette or any part of the Mississippi Delta for that matter, you know the dates, you know the fun and your craving for and authentic King Cake has come to a full roar! Mardi Gras, that glittery, purple, gold and green crazy train is barrelling towards us. Fat Tuesday falls on February 25 this year, and its only a few weeks away. There are cures for that craving of Galette Du Rois (King Cake). The local grocer (unless you live in the area where Mardi Gras is celebrated with supreme Gusto, I don’t recommend this), order from Randazzo’s (an original and in my opinion the best, or Gambino’s (another original and really good varieties) or make it yourself. I recommend making your own, homemade is always soooooo good!
Mind you this lovely takes the better part of a warm afternoon and some patience but so worth it. And this recipe is for an authentic as it gets, King Cake! Its sweet, very sweet, but there’s so much to love about this delicacy, you’ll want to surely TRY THIS AT HOME!
In case you were wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s a little ‘history’ on the king cake from Manny Randazzo
The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870. A King Cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, crossed between a coffee cake and a French pastry that is as rich in history as it is in flavor. It’s decorated in royal colors of PURPLE which signifies “Justice,” GREEN for “Faith,” and GOLD for “Power.” These colors were chosen to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany. In the past such things as coins, beans, pecans, or peas were also hidden in each King Cake.
Today, a tiny plastic baby is the common prize. At a party, the King Cake is sliced and served. Each person looks to see if their piece contains the “baby.” If so, then that person is named “King” for a day and bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.
Mardi Gras Day has a moveable date and may occur on any Tuesday from February 3rd to March 9th. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, and always falls 46 days before Easter.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to warn your guests that there is a tiny charm baked into your cake. You don’t want anyone choking ! And watch small children carefully. You might even want to bake a kids king cake without the charm!