Growing up in Southern Louisiana we kept our Christmas Tree up until New Years day. As soon as the tree came down a few days later on January 6 it was Twelfth Night and that marks the beginning Mardi Gras season. Lake Charles holds a huge celebration where all the royalty from the previous year parade around in their majestic costumes and it is a festive evening. After that night previous courts pass their royal duties over to the next royal court and the Mardi Gras Balls begin .I have been going to this celebration for as long as I can remember and what this meant to me as a wide eyed chubby girl was KING CAKE SEASON. You see ,after twelfth night all the local super markets and bakeries have their delectable King Cakes ready to sell and this is another reason to adore Mardi Gras.
When I was young there was just the plain cinnamon king cake with the drizzled glaze or colored sugar, well things have changed . There are king cakes stuffed with simple fillings like cream cheese to complicated concoctions, but I have never met one I didn’t like. A new trend the past few years is to combine savory and sweet . Here in southern Louisiana we all love boudin and tend to stuff it in all kinds of things like meatloafs, egg rolls, and kolaches . A boudin stuffed king cake was bound to eventually happen. This is my take on the new trend, I chose pepper jelly and bacon on top but I have seen steen syrup and cracklins also. This king cake is sweet , savory and has a little spice!!
This recipe is a little time consuming but so worth it. The basic king cake dough is a simple semi sweet yeast dough . Start by scalding the milk, to do this bring the milk up to a boil and immediately remove it from the heat.
Add the sugar , salt , butter and allow everything to melt and dissolve and set aside.
Next in a large mixing bowl dissolve both packets of yeast in warm water. Not to warm, if you are not sure about the temp of your water use a kitchen thermometer .
Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and mix well
Add the beaten eggs to the mixture
Add the all purpose flour a little at a time . I prefer to do this by hand but you can use a mixer
Add all the flour until it is combined
Turn onto a floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic like
Form into a ball
Place the ball into a greased bowl and cover with a towel and place in a warm place
While the dough is rising cook and crumble the bacon. Also remove the cold boudin from the casing and break it up
Once the dough is doubled in size punch it down
Turn onto a floured surface and roll into a large oblong shape. Fold in half and transfer onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Make a slit with a knife down the center and make the dough look like an oblong donut
Line the center of the dough with all of the boudin and start folding over the dough and pinching it to seal it
Tuck all the pinched edges on the bottom of the cake
Cover the cake with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes
Bake in a preheated for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
Brush with butter
Heat pepper jelly either on the stove top or microwave until it is smooth enough to drizzle
Drizzle the pepper jelly and top with bacon