cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is this Mardi Gras and Who is this King?

Salty's Not-So-New Orleans King Cake

I don't celebrate Mardi Gras, Carnival, or anything that has to do with the Tuesday prior to Wednesday's ashiness. I dunno, I just never have. There isn't much ado about the whole thing in American culture, Louisiana New Orleans culture yes, but American culture no. Catholics celebrate Mardi Gras as the last big hurrah before lent. I do not participate in Lent. Ergo i have never participated in Mardi Gras. Quelle tristesse je sais. The Louisiana Mardi Gras image; boobs, beeds, and beer. Oh how i have been missing out! And we could have baked a box of Zataran's for dinner! I paste my sarcasm here, though i harbor no disrespect for the culinary creole culture of the great South, on the contrary--i am quite eager to sample it. Someday. But, today I happen to live with a New Orleans (well she thinks she is) girl. And when pouty eyes ask for a cake--pouty eyes receive. on y va.


No, i'm busy, i'm not making you a "king cake" there is no "cake" in my mid-week schedule, i have homework and magazine work to do, and journals to edit, talk to me on the weekend! I spat at S. Ok sorry Mal, perhaps tomorrow then... she muttered in gallant defeat as she went out the door to work. Mardi Gras cake, i grunt, bah humbug. Twenty minutes later sitting in French class "listening" to a presentation, i begin to think, how cruel am i!? I have been asked to produce a cake and denied the good soul who is of the utmost important in recipe sampling for this blog? Quelle bete! So i start sketching; damn it i am making a king cake after all. But a king cake is a yeast cake, i have no time for blasted yeast! Something different, then, oh merde must it be those ruddy purples and greens...at least there's yellow. Layers, Salty loves layers...what the hell is New Orleans besides beads...diamonds...harlequin...ahah! I have it! Oh finish your blasted presentation already, i have a cake to bake!

Salty's Harlequein Tuesday Cake
Sour Cream Almond Pound Cake (in honor of the South)
ingredients: 3 cups flour ~ 6 eggs ~ 2 sticks butter ~ 1 tsp bs ~ 3 cups sugar ~ almond extract ~ 1 cup sour cream
method: cream sugar and butter, add sour cream 2) add eggs and flour mixed with bs alternately, then add extract 3) divide into three bowls and dye 4 ) spray and line 3 loaf pans with parchment and then bake at 325 for ~40 minutes. let cool completely on rack 5) groom/shave/carve and then cut out a hole for your plastic baby 6) layer with Cream Cheese Frosting (in honor of what's in the fridge) but not on the top--on top cut out paper diamonds and then sprinkle with powdered sugar around. Decorate with jewels or silver sprinkles. fini!

The baby...the baby...no baby. But, a Jesus pencil topping will do just fine. And all this too before S came home from work. Time for a party! Quick whoever finds the Jesus is the King! He's arisen, and early too! The cake has now turned into Lisbon/Rio. Now i've done Mardi Gras? No, now i've done a cake. A king cake? No, a Salty Cake. Happy Mardi Gras S.

Thank you for reading this Salty Cod mid-week hiccup, now, get back to your Lenting.

à bientôt

20 comments:

Sierra said...

brilliant...thank you so much...happy fat tuesday! next year we'll do the traditional one :) or better yet, i'll take you there and we'll celebrate in true NOLA fashion!

Jennifer said...

Speechless really. Want a creative and beautiful re-creation of the King Cake!!! I made one last week and even consider cupcakes but a cake like yours just takes it to a new level! Wonderful!!

dancingbird said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am from New Orleans and have had a multitude of King Cakes in my lifetime, however I think I would prefer your version the dry braided ones I get here. Although I do like Gambino's and Randazzo's very much. I enjoy reading your blog as often as I possible. I will be back for more! A biento!

dessert girl said...

I've never had one of these before, so I'm not sure if this is what they always look like, but yours is so pretty! I love the Jesus topper. :-)

Manuela © said...

Que tristeza? :P

Aqui na Ilha Terceira celebramos muito o Carnaval.

Adorei o bolo :)

P.S.: That was only for you to exercise your portuguese a bit :P

Mallory Elise said...

What sadness?

Here on Terceira Island we celebrate carnival a lot.

I love your cake :)

HEY! no dictionary! look how good i'm getting. Muito obrigada Manuela!!!

beijos

anna said...

The Jesus pencil topper is hilarious! And I love your cake, it's quite elegant. Looks more appealing to me than a normal King Cake, though I live very very far from Louisiana and have never had one.

Aran said...

i love you used a jesus pencil topper! hahaha...

i grew up catholic as all good basques do and did participate in lent, as all good kids that listen to their parents do, and i did get a cross made of ash on my forehead as all kids going to catholic school did... so you would think after all that i would at least want to celebrate carnaval right? well, i hated it. it was one of those days that i dreaded and was traumatized by it as a kid. i guess that makes me boring and a party pooper right?

but am always up for a good cake especially if it's as colorful and fun as this one!

ovenhaven said...

The cake looks really fluffy and well done! Love the pencil topping :P

Núria said...

What a gorgeous idea... arlequin looking cake! That girl is really lucky! No carnaval celebrations for me this year... maybe next :D.

Lori - Blondie in Brazil said...

The cake recipe alone sounds absolutely outstanding. I will have to try it but probably not in King Cake form. Although Catholic, I've never been into Mardi Gras. I tend to have the beer, beads, boobs view of it as well. We typically just celebrate by overdosing on what we plan to give up for lent, namely chocolate. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to confess, King Cake is one of those things I have to force myself to like it! I love cake - all shapes and forms, but with King Cake, I have never liked the look of the traditional "braid" cake which seems like it has been soaks up with tons of bad sugar and bad coloring that left out in the open for months... so I actually never taste one.

Yet, after seeing your "re-creation" of the King Cake, I am glad I have found someone out there, who is creative enough to invite my curiosity for baking this cake. Perhaps, I will bake it one of these days! So thanks to you!

ice tea: sugar high said...

wow.. never knew there's a cake tradition before lent. Here i am, trying my best not to eat cake as one of my "things to sacrifice" during lent.

Looking at your cake is making me want to break it. The temptation! Such pretty colours, and I love the little Jesus topper too. So cute! I bet they are delish too!

Christy said...

A midweek cake! I so totally wasn't expecting that! You usually do your baking at the end of the week, which is why I didn't check it out sooner!This is gorgeous, and the colours are oh so mardi gras with the yellow and the red. I've only heard about mardi gras; at least you know about its origins....not this girl! But thanks to the Salty snippet about the festival. Love the harlequin pattern on top of the cake too, but what does it have to so with New Orleans? And oh, now we all know how you spend your time during other people's presentation. And pssst...I usually read a food magazine.

Ryan Noel said...

Yay, I like my pencil topper going to a most fun use! That's some serious food coloring going on, and I think J man is trying to make the fork levitate in the last photo, haha

Anonymous said...

somehow... i'm amazed... with salty's crew photo!

brilliant!!! hahahahaha

p.

Mallory Elise said...

but of course, tout ce que je fais est brilliant, duhhhh. tu le sais déjà. ahk ahk. :P

Colloquial Cook said...

Attends, you have a plastic "Jesus blessing the crowd"?? Your house is even better furnished than mine in oddities. I'm trying hard to picture pouty eyes but all i come up with is gross. I like sour cream in cakes moi aussi

Mallory Elise said...

Ah Claire, "pouty eyes" are like sad puppy eyes, or picture the face of the Antonio Banderes kitty on Shrek. yep. c'est pres que le meme.

chi79 said...

What's bs?