Tom E. Gunn Brings Mardi Gras to the Midwest with King Cake
Last night my girlfriend and I hosted a game night with some of her friends from grad school. Being the gracious hosts that we are, we decided to give everyone a taste of home. I made gumbo, and she made king cake.
I brought some leftover king cake to the station today for folks to try, and everyone who got a piece of it absolutely loved it. Oddly enough, it never really occurred to me that Midwesterners don't know what king cake is or why we eat it in Louisiana.
King cake is a Mardi Gras tradition in my home state. When Mardi Gras season rolls around, you can barely go anywhere without someone trying to sell you some. Believe it or not, one of the most famous cakes in my hometown comes from a hardware store called Tubbs Hardware and Cajun Gifts.
If you want to know what it is, imagine a very moist cinnamon roll type bread, baked in a ring shape, and usually filled with some sort of gooey delight. Traditionally, a plastic baby is put inside the cake, and the person that finds the baby is declared King or Queen for the night and is responsible for the next cake and/or Mardi Gras party.
It's not enough to just talk about these delicious pastries, you really need to try one. However, my girlfriend is not up to the challenge af baking enough for our entire audience, so she pointed me in the direction of the very recipe she uses from Southern Living Magazine. Find her delicious cream cheese filled king cake recipe HERE.
If you're not up to the challenge, just order one from one of the most famous bakeries in New Orleans (some say it is the gold standard of all Louisiana King Cake since 1949), Gambino's Bakery!