Friends Drift Inn Farm – Recipes
The Feb. 22 issue of the Appalachian News Express features an article on local Chef Chris who hails from Bayou Country
Fancy Cinnamon Roll Recipe – New Orleans Style
You might thing it odd that a girl in the Kentucky mountains is writing about a French tradition linked closely to New Orleans and the Deep South; but you shouldn’t.
Head up to Pike County’s Virgie area and you’ll find family names like DeRossett and Tackett that have lived in our hills and hollers for more generations than you can shake a stick at.It is said that many of the French trappers of our pioneer era liked Kentucky so much they decided to stay. We just do not talk about it much.
My own roots include a French shoemaker who came to the Bluegrass to make his fortune. See there? Shoes are in my genes! Why deny it?
King Cake is what we here in the highlands would call a Cinnamon Roll. The icing and sprinkled sugars in the traditional Mardi Gras colors makes it a little more high flutin’. Y’all know I am not big on food coloring and the like, but every once in the while for celebrations I will bend the rules.
Enjoy a King Cake and raise a cup of Earl Grey tea to the folks of New Orleans who understand our secrets and wink at us with a mischievous kinship.
King Cake Recipe
Inspired by my high school French Teacher, Mrs. Hines
Cake Recipe, Dessert Recipe, Mardi Gras Celebrations
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, unsifted
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup warm buttermilk
- 5 egg yolks at room temperature, organic preferred
- ½ cup of softened butter plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: Traditional King Cake includes a small hidden token such as a tiny baby doll, bean, or gold coin.
- ½ cup melted unsalted melted butter, organic preferred
- ¾ cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sorghum
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans (If I want to get really fancy I use black walnuts.)
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, organic preferred
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (I used Woodford Reserve Bourbon instead)
- 3 – 6 tablespoons of Milk
OPTIONAL Sprinkle sugars in Mardi Gras Colors Green, Purple and Yellow
1. In a small shallow bowl, add warm water, yeast and about 2 teaspoons of sugar. Let set in a warm place for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the combination produces bubbles and gets frothy.
2. In the meantime, use a large mixing bowl to combine 3 ½ cups of flour, the rest of the sugar, nutmeg and salt. Whisk through to blend ingredients and add air to the flour.
3. Make a well in center of flour mixture, add yeast liquid, lemon zest, buttermilk and egg yolks.
4. You could use a wooden spoon to slowly work this, but I use my handy dandy KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook.
5. Add butter a little at a time, working the dough until it pulls away from the sides making a soft smooth glob. Depending on your flour, you may need to add small increments of additional flour to achieve a smooth elastic texture. I usually work the dough in the mixer for about 7 to 10 minutes.
6. Gently place the dough ball in a large buttered mixing bowl, cover with a warm damp cloth, and place bowl in a warm draft free location for 1 ½ to 2 hours until dough has doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 375°.
8. Punch dough down, and on a floured surface roll out dough into a rectangle about 15 x 10. Smear with butter.
9. Mix up brown sugar, sorghum and cinnamon and spread over surface.
10. Sprinkle with nuts.
11. Beginning on the long side of rectangle, roll dough like a jelly roll. Pinch along the seams.
12. Bring the two ends together to form a ring, pinch seam line together.
13. Let dough rest for about 30 minutes in a warm draft-free location. I usually cover with a tea towel.
14. On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and greased with a little butter, place the cake and bake about 30 to 35 minutes until the product is golden brown.
15. Mix glaze ingredients, adding the milk a little at a time until you get the consteincy of glaze – not thin – not thick.
16. Cool cake. (I suppose you are supposed to cool it on a rack. I just put it on a cake pedastal. So sue me) Add glaze. I let the glaze just begin to set up…then add the sugar sprinkles. Down here in the mountains, we don’t have purple sugar. I mixed blue and red sugar crystals with a little of the powdered sugar glaze to create a soft purple.
This is not a dish we serve everyday in Appalachia but it was a fun to King Cake share with a large group as we celebrate some exciting news here at Friends Drift Inn. When Mardi Gras is upon us, we enjoy reveling in the traditions even if we are not technically Louisiana mud bugs. But when you study on it, how much difference it there between a Cajun and a Hillbilly? Let the good times roll! Giggles
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