21 February 2012

No Meat Zone Recipes, Mardi Gras Edition: Vegan King Cake

Nothing makes me think of Mardi Gras more than seeing a king cake. The first year I moved to Boston, I was homesick and unable to get home for Mardi Gras. So when Fat Tuesday rolled around, a friend of mine surprised me by having one sent to me from my favorite bakery. We devoured it in one sitting. Almost 20 years later she still has them sent to me every now and again. Now, that’s a good friend!

This was my first year making a vegan king cake from scratch and I was really happy with how this turned out. It tastes just like a regular king cake.

We are not in New Orleans this year for Mardi Gras, we are spending it in Cleveland with my father-in-law. However, we are still celebrating Mardi Gras just the same. We cut into this cake last night and my father-in-law got the baby which he promptly gave to my four year old. As you can imagine, she really wanted to get the baby. It’s all I heard about for the whole drive from Boston to Cleveland.

Today we are celebrating with more king cake and wearing our beads, I hope you can carve out some time to have your own little party too. If you are interested in the background of king cakes you can read up on it at wikipedia.

Happy Mardi Gras!

For the cake:
2 tbsp bob’s red mill, egg replacer
6 tbsp water
1/4 cup earth balance
1 (16 ounce) container follow your heart, vegan sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vegan sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup earth balance, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons earth balance, melted
3 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
Colored sugars:
green sugar crystals
purple sugar crystals
yellow sugar crystals
Mix the egg replacer with the water in a small bowl and set aside. Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Cool mixture to 100 degrees to 110 degrees.

Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Punch dough down and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. (You can divide the dough and do this in 2 sections to make it easier, that’s what I did)
Brush the butter on dough…
and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Roll dough, starting at long side. Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough (if you divided the dough), cinnamon mixture, and butter.

Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Decorate with bands of Colored Frostings, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.
Frosting: Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter. Add almond milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in lemon extract and ice the cake.
With your colored sugars, carefully sprinkle on the icing going in a pattern of purple, green and gold.
Dive in!

Julie Kelly | Facebook | @Mighty_Vegan | Blog
Boston, MA Julie loves finding new ways to make super healthy meals that are both easy and delicious. She has no special training as a chef just hours of playing in her own kitchen to feed her family. Julie believes you are what you eat, so she tries to keep it healthy with occasionally indulgences. Moving your body is a big party of being healthy and she tries to do that at least 6 times a week. When Julie’s not experimenting in the kitchen or spending time with her husband and 4 year old daughter, she is a partner at Three Bean Press, a custom self-publishing company. She is also a graphic designer and illustrator who has published three children's books: The Yellowest Yellow Lab, Lily and the Imaginary Zoo, and Frankie Goes to Fenway.

Photo credits: Julie Kelly