Celiac.com 01/15/2010 - King Cakes are used to select Mardi Gras Kings and Queens as well as to celebrate the season in households and at parties across the country. King Cakes have many looks, the most classic being a crown shaped pastry dotted with the sugared colors of Carnival: purple, gold and green. Some have fillings, others do not, though they all house a hidden trinket like a plastic (formerly porcelain) baby.
The trinket hidden inside each cake adds to its popularity, although the uninitiated often fail to recognize that finding the trinket inside your piece of cake may come not only with privileges (good fortune and/or becoming the King or Queen of the ball) but just as often with responsibilities (bringing the next cake!).
Gluten-Free King Cake Recipe
¼ cup warm water (110 F)
1 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
2 ¼ tsp. (1 packet) highlyactive, fast rise yeast
½ cup unsalted butter ornon-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
3 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
¼ cup warm milk (dairy ornon-dairy)
2 large eggs
3 cups Jules Gluten FreeAll Purpose Flour
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp. salt (¼ tsp. saltif using non-dairy alternative)
2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy) forbrushing on pastry before baking
4 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative(e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup Jules Gluten FreeAll Purpose Flour
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Gluten-Free Icing Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy)
¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
Colored sugar (purple, gold and green)
Prepare the filling by melting the 4tablespoons butter and setting aside. In a separate bowl, toss thechopped apples with the Jules Gluten Free All PurposeFlour. Whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon; stir the flouredapples in with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the warmwater, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast; stir and set aside to proof. Ifthe mixture is not bubbly and doubled in volume after 5-10 minutes,toss out and start again with fresh yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, blend theremaining 3 tablespoons sugar and butter until lighter and fluffy. Add the milk and eggs and beat until well-integrated. Add 2 cups ofJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, salt, baking powderand nutmeg and mix well. Stir in the proofed yeast-sugar-watermixture, then add the remaining 1 cup Jules Gluten FreeAll Purpose Flour. Beat another 1-2 minutes, until the dough isclumping together and is not too sticky.
Prepare a large baking sheet by liningwith parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a pastry mat or aclean counter dusted lightly with Jules Gluten Free AllPurpose Flour. Roll the dough out to an elongated rectangle 24-30inches long by 9-10 inches wide. Brush on the melted butter for thetopping, coating the entire rectangle. Sprinkle the topping mixtureon top of the melted butter, spreading to the ends of the rectangle,but leaving 1/2-1 inch without topping on each of the long sides ofthe rectangle.
Using a pastry blade or a spatula,gently peel up one of the long sides of the rectangle and beginrolling it as you would a jelly roll. Once the entire pastry isrolled upon itself until no pastry remains unrolled, a 24-30 inchlong roll will remain.
Gently pull the two ends of the roll togetherto form a circle or oval. Dabbing the ends of the pastry with water,join the ends together to close the circle. Gently transfer the ringto the parchment-lined baking sheet, or transfer the ring on thesilicone baking mat to the baking sheet. Brush the milk on top ofthe exposed pastry, then using a large sharp knife, make a cut in thetop of the pastry every 2 inches to expose one layer of the roll.
Spray a sheet of wax paper with cooking oil, then cover the cake andlet rise in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes like a warming drawer or anoven heated to 200 F then turned off.
Preheat oven to 350 F (static) or 325 F(convection).
Remove the wax paper from the cake andbake for 20-25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Whilecooling, mix icing ingredients and drizzle over the cake. Sprinklecolored sugar on top of wet icing, alternating colors between eachcut in the top of the cake. Once cooled, insert a pecan or small plasticbaby into the underside of the cake to hide it. Serve when fullycooled.