A slice of Carnival: Evolution of the king cake

A Slice of Carnival: King Cake Evolution

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Carnival season keeps bakers on their toes.

By the time Christmas wraps up, Jessica Scott the lead pastry chef at Gracious Bakery, is ready to roll out something special.

“The holiday spirit and the festivities are not over, if anything they’re about to bumped up a notch and who doesn’t love a drink with a slice of king cake at the end of the day,” said Scott.

The 'Gallette De Rois’ translated literally means the ‘cake of kings,’ but that might be the only similarity to the cake you know and love...starting with the layers.

“It’s extremely flaky inside. You’re not gonna find that with a brioche dough here in New Orleans," Scott said.

Once it’s rolled out, the dough is sliced cold and is ready for the filling.

“We fill it with the almond Frangipane,. It has almond paste, flour, sugar, but not a whole lot, we spice it up with rum, only the good stuff here, then we top it off with more puff pastry.”

The pastry layers are pinched together then intricate designs are scored into the crown of the cake.

“Once they’ve baked, we brush them with an apricot glaze that just adds more flavor to every bite.” Scott said.

Then, the cake is topped with a classic Feve, similar to the baby, but he’s not hiding.

The king isn’t the only one on the throne that gets his own cake though, how about a Queen Cake, or the ‘Kouign Amann’

“It’s pronounced queen it’s originally from the Brittany region of France," said Megan Walker.

Over at The Station, they’ve been baking up their classic french cake for three years making more room for the whole royal family.

“It’s a laminated pastry, which means it has a layer of butter folded in the dough. You roll it out and fold it until it has a lot of layers, kind of like a croissant."

The not-so secret ingredient … butter.

The crew at The Station make the treat year-round, but during Carnival season it gets a special touch.

“Instead of rolling on flour, we roll it out on cinnamon and sugar. That’s what gives it that king cakey flavor."

The baked in sugar gives the Kouign Amman a glitter crust, and what monarch wouldn’t want a unicorn to adorn their cake. It’s the Station’s special nod to the king cake baby with their own flair.

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