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Jan 7, 2010 07:20 AM

King Cake for Exiles with Ovens

I need to do a little I-hope-helpful bragging: last night, I successfully made a recognizable King Cake. Being of the simple McKenzie's school, I have tried every pseudo-brioche recipe in the Times Picayune's archives, various Junior League cookbooks, and other New Orleans sources, to no avail, and I was beginning to think I was doomed to shipped iced cinnamon swirls or Tastee simulacra sent through the mail. Then, as I browsed for flour tortillas, king cake far from my mind, in Diana Kennedy's MEXICAN COOKING, I found it--the yolky, sticky, messy dough that comes out moist and even crumbed--her Rosca de Reyes. Now, that's a king cake, as long as you pat colored sugar on it. If anyone wants the recipe, I'll type it up--but the book's a good thing to have anyway!

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  1. Hmm..this sounds dangerously as though it is actually _good_. I suspect those recipes you got from Da Pic an Junior League cookbooks might have been authentic. I grew up with King Cakes that must be choked down with coffee and view with suspiscion the onlys that actually taste good (with teh exception of Haydel's) Not that the new cream cheese jobbies are not welcome....just not authentic.

    5 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Haha. I don't know... This one might be too authentic for you. It bears much less resemblance to Haydel's (my husband's favorite) than it does to old McKenzie's extra larges. As brioche, it's pretty bad, but it scratches a hard-to-scratch itch.

      1. re: LostBread

        Sounds like you got the McKenzies product down pat. (You could always tell where the baby was b/c the flap was obvious)

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Congrats to you for the effort!

          I will never know how cinnamon roll coffee cake with icing and fillings that are beyond day glo and gross to boot have become the norm.

          The now closed La Spiga in the Marigny had a great brioche/almond Queen's Cake.

          I always liked Mckenzie's brioche with tri color sugar and bright cherry pieces.

          1. re: Suzy Wong

            Don't forget the late Bill Long, on Freret Street. His stuff would induce a diabetic coma at four hundred yards

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Oh, Bill Long's! My father muses monthly about roll-mops and jelly donuts after church. I wish it had stayed around for me to see it!

      1. I would so appreciate the recipe. I've tried many times and my King Cakes come out with a hard crust like bread. The last one looked authenic but was dry, dry, dry.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathielamb

          You can find several king cake recipes at this site. Just click on the blue link below.

          To prevent the cake from getting too brown on top tent the top with foil when it is just golden brown.

          1. re: speyerer

            Thanks for the link. Your list of recipes even included the Rosca de Reyes mentioned in the original post.

          1. I do want the recipe. Please do type it up! McKenzie's was the best, no question - chewy, gooey, anything but brioche, a sugar OD, but oh, so good!