Photo: Brooke Conroy Bass
It’s Mardi Gras! Last call to get your hands on one of these babies. Literally: Inside each cake you’ll find a tiny plastic baby toy.
The King Cake is what we’re talking about, and it was supposedly brought to New Orleans from France back in 1870; since then, it’s been reinterpreted into an oval-shaped, tri-colored cake eaten during Carnival season. Christians (and, frankly, people who just love cake) eat this glittery delicacy from January 6, known as the Epiphany, until Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, their last chance to gorge before fasting for Lent.
So what’s with the baby? It symbolizes Christ, and the purple, green, and gold colors represent the three wise men. So be careful not to swallow the baby! If it appears in your slice, then custom says it’s your job to provide the next party’s King Cake.
Chocolate + Marrow has got your back, though. Born and raised in New Orleans, its blogger, Brooke Conroy Bass, knows her King Cake. She starts with sweet dough; butters it and sprinkles it with brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom (her own touch); adds a marzipan filling; and rolls it up and forms it into a circle. Once baked and cooled, she pours icing on top and finished with sugar tinted purple, yellow, and green with food coloring.
When she’s not cooking the Cajun-influenced recipes she learned from her grandmother, Conroy is earning her PhD in sociology at Stanford while teaching college students in Portland, Oregon, where she lives. If Conroy can find time to party, so can you!
Get this recipe: Cardamom Almond King Cake
More cakes that like to party: