Happy Mardi Gras!

Freshman year of college, my roommate introduced me to King Cakes, which her parents sent us from New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I’ve been working on my recipe for years, now! This year’s is a chocolate-cinnamon roll–I made two small jelly rolls and twisted the two together before forming them into a ring.

If you’re not familiar with the story behind the King Cake–it’s called a King Cake for King’s Day (the Epiphany) on January 6th, which marks the beginning of Mardi Gras season. Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, a time of sacrifice. Soooooo, on Fat Tuesday, you should stuff your face with King Cake! A little miniature baby is inside the cake, and whoever gets the piece with the baby has good luck for the year and is also supposed to buy the next King Cake. Here’s the Wikipedia Article explaining a bit more.
After baking, pre-icing
You can see the baby sticking out in this one
Cooling before icing
Dough: I just used my cinnamon roll dough recipe (click here to see that post) plus a dash (~1/8 tsp) nutmeg. The cinnamon roll post also explains how to roll something jellyroll-style after you add the filling. Split the dough into two balls, and roll each into a rectangle. 

Filling: I mixed 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp brown sugar and sprinkled it on both rectangles of dough before rolling it up. I didn’t use any margarine or oil to the filling–just the dry ingredients.

After adding the filling and rolling up each jellyroll, twist the two tubes together, and let the whole thing rise ~35 mins. Then brush with egg white to get a shiny finish. Tuck in a King Cake baby or another trinket that can handle cooking (I waited until the end of the cooking process to do this, but then it was kinda sticking out).

Icing: The icing is the same as my cinnamon roll recipe, too, except with added food dye. I sprinkled the top with powdered sugar, too.
The finished product (2012) – alternatively, use white icing with colored sprinkles
Happy Mardi Gras!
Sorry this isn’t as detailed as my usual posts–there’s a reason they sometimes take me months to get on here! Hopefully this is clear enough!
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