It's Carnival Time Again! And, as I've been on a roll, baking everything I want (ok, I haven't tried Filo dough yet, but come on...)
So, for our Super Bowl party, I decided to attempt an Almond Brioche 'Bostock' inspired King Cake using my homemade Buckwheat/Rye Brioche dough.
The King Cake is light and fluffly, and has a great flavour of almonds from the paste and extract with a hint of citrus from the Meyer Lemon and a subtle nuttiness from the buckwheat. I don't like large amounts of icing on my cakes, so I went with a finishing glaze of lavender honey.
The next time I make it I may include more cinnamon to evoke more of the classic flavor, maybe even incorporating it more heavily into the almond creme, or making a cinnamon creme, or rolling it into the dough before flattening it out. Any suggestions are welcome!
2 lbs "Buckwheat-Rye Brioche Dough" (Recipe Follows) or another brioche dough would work fine, I guess
4tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (duck) egg
1/2 tsp rose water (or citrus water like sweet orange water)
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup caster sugar
Zest of Orange, Satsuma, or Meyer Lemon
1/2 cup of sliced unsalted almonds
egg wash (1 egg w/ 1 tbsp of H2O)
Cream butter, almond paste, flour, duck egg, floral water, and almond extract in a food processor until uniform and smooth.
Assembly of the Cake:
There are two strategies possible for assembly of the cake, and I opted on the less traditional, but possibly more visually appealing.
Form Dough into 2 balls and roll them into two rectangles of approx 24"x12" and 1/8" thick.
Smooth Almond Crème onto the rectangle of dough, and then proceed to roll up the dough from one of the longer sides of the rectangle (jelly-roll style).
Braid the two strands together and join at the ends by pinching and using a little water.
Form Dough into single ball and then into rectangle.
Roll Into a long rectangle, approx 26" x 8".
Visually divide the rectangle into thirds, width-wise and spread the Almond Crème on the center 1/3.
Create 'fingers' on the opposing sides by cutting opposing 1/2" width strips with a pizza cutter.
Place red bean inside. (I don't put plastic in my baked goods...)
Paint inside of fingers with egg wash, and fold over each other carefully (fingers on bottom only) in a criss cross pattern to create a braid, alternating left over right, lightly pressing together as you move to next pair of strands.
Carefully bend into a round 'crown' shape and seal on edges, preferably by braiding together and using a little water and pinch.
Allow the crown/braid to rest for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F with baking stone in center 20minutes before baking.
Immediately before baking, mix together sugar, zest, slivered almonds, and a little juice of the citrus and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Bake without steam for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Drizzle with a light coating of lavender honey and serve warm with French Roast café au lait!
Buckwheat Rye Brioche Dough
*Makes Approx 4lbs of dough
1.5 cups of 105-115F water
1.5 tablespoons of granulated yeast or 1/4 cup of sourdough starter, and adjust water appropriately given hydration level
1.5 tbsp. of Granulated Salt
8 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup Local Honey
1.5 Cups melted unsalted butter
4 cups unbleached bread flour ! (or KAf, we need the protein)
3 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup Whole Rye Flour
1) Mix starter or yeast, salt, eggs, and melted butter with water in a 5 quart+ container which isn't airtight.
2) Add flour without kneading, with a spoon or spatula or a food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook. The dough should be loose.
3) Cover and allow to rest and room temperature until the dough rises and falls. (approx. 2h at 75F)
4) Refrigerate briefly and it is now ready to use.
Use within 5 days, or freeze in 1lb portions.