Tuesday, February 21, 2012

King Cake Shake

Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pączki Day [POONCH-key], or Carnival, today - the day before Ash Wednesday - is a time of fun and feasting before the 40 days of Lent, which ends at Easter.

Today is a day of consummate indulgence before a period of penitence.

I will be starting my morning with espresso and a pączek ([POON-chek] = the singular of pączki) - an ultra-rich jelly doughnut, for those who don't live in or near Polish communities and thus aren't able to join in this annual celebration of decadence.  Never fear the fat or calories, just relinquish yourself to the sugar!

It is also traditional on this day to enjoy King Cake, a New Orleans favorite.  I would have made one of these fabulous pastries, but my stove finally had to be given last rites; it was nearly a week until my new one was installed.

So, necessity being the mother of invention, while I was still oven-less I created a variation on the theme: I made a shake, instead!

I combined three flavors of ice cream to approximate the flavor of the sweet yeast bread.  Ben and Jerry's makes Cake Batter ice cream, which offered a good base.  Butter Pecan added the flavor of the nuts, which are often used in a filling for the treat.  Rum Raisin contributed a hint of the liquor which can be added to the pastry's glaze.  And adding a bit of bourbon could only enhance the concoction, right?

It is customary to bake a trinket into the King Cake - a small baby figure specifically designed for this purpose, or a bean if the other isn't available.  The one who finds the trinket in his or her piece earns certain privileges, perhaps being named king or queen of a krewe.  It is also expected that he or she would host a party or supply the next year's cake.

This rich, creamy shake also lets you hide the trinket by simply dropping it into one of the glasses before serving your guests.  Pay homage to other King Cake customs, as well, by sprinkling your drink with purple, green and gold decorations - they're the colors of Mardi Gras!

If you want to share in the enthusiasm of Pączki Day but without ingesting the calories, watch this cute video from CBS' Sunday Morning show:

King Cake Shake

1-1/2 cups cake batter ice cream
1/2 cup butter pecan ice cream
1/2 cup rum raisin ice cream
1 tablespoon bourbon (or vanilla extract)
1 cup skim milk
trinket: baby figure or bean
whipped cream, for serving
purple, green and gold sprinkles or colored sugars, for decoration

Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz them together until smooth. Place a trinket into the bottom of one of four small glasses.  Pour the shake into the glasses, top with whipped cream and decorations, and serve immediately.

Serves 4.


Jenn said...

King cake in milkshake form? Where do I place my order??? I think I'm going to need at least two to get me through the day!

Candace said...

Anything involving my friends Ben & Jerry gets my stamp of approval! I love your spin on the beloved King Cake. If only I had one of those delicious shakes to follow my turkey burger dinner tonight. :)

Cranberry Morning said...

Are we all invited over for King Cake shakes? Looks like you're going to have a line of people at your door, Mary! :-)

Chris said...

Just as long as I don't choke on the baby ;)

Chris said...

PS: Your king cake brings all the boys to the yard!

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