Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The King Cake Chronicles: NKOTB

In last week's episode of the King Cake Chronicles, we tasted our way through the first family of king cakes, the Randazzos. This week we head to the opposite end of the spectrum, taking a looksee at a few of the king cake bakers who have debuted this year.

Cochon Butcher

Pastry Chef Rhonda Rhuckman has taken the traditional king cake to new levels with her miniature editions available for pickup at Cochon Butcher. The soft brioche dough has a variety of fillings, including praline, strawberries and cream, and a chocolatey combination of sour cream, devil's food crumbs, and chocolate chips. Bonus points for the porcine replacement of the traditional baby.


Fans of Pizza Delicious have already tasted the work of Christine, dough stretcher extraordinaire, but this Mardi Gras season she has taken her talents solo with her own king cake business, known as Regicide. The first time I ordered one of Christine's king cakes, I went against her recommendation and requested that she omit her standard sweet cream cheese filling. The result was an excellent brioche dough that came out too dry. Mea culpa.

Luckily, I was not deterred by my own idiocy, and so I sampled a slice of the "O How Nice Apple & Spice" version a week later at PD. The difference was remarkable. The thin layer of cream cheese swirled throughout the dough helps keep the cake moist and light without overpowering the flavor of the dough, and the apple filling was minimal but perfectly proportioned.

Lessons for the day: Trust the baker, and never mess with perfection.

Maple Street Patisserie

In Ziggy Cichowski's native Poland, his countrymen celebrate Paczki Day as the feast before the Lenten fast begins. But Ziggy's unfamiliarity with Mardi Gras has proved not be a rampart for creating a king cake which reminds of a much improved version of a much exalted classic. The top of the cake is a braid with peaks and valleys covered in a snowstorm of granulated purple, green, and gold sugar and a decorative drizzle of white icing. The yeasty, almost donut-like flavor reminds me of the old school McKenzie's king cake, but 100x better.


Celeste said...

Anything Ziggy bakes is right tasty. I wish he would start making big pretzels...pls join me in campaign of whining, "Ziggy, please bake pretzels" every time you visit Maple St Patisserie.

Charles said...

Love everything about Maple Street Patisserie.

Good work on the roundup.


koogie said...

I just want a king cake with nutella and strawberries.

Anonymous said...

Cake Cafe Bakery ( 2440 Chartres, apple & goat cheese king cake. Fabulous!!! If you haven't had it, you are seriously missing out. Sweet goat cheese w/ fresh crisp apples!!!

Peter said...


You're talking crazy, and I like it. Though I would probably prefer Nutella only.


I had a slice of the apple and goat cheese king cake on Sunday night. Delicious. Today's post was meant only for new king cakes that have appeared this season, but maybe next year I will get to Cake Cafe.

Anonymous said...

I heard Tartine is putting out a king cake. Anyone know if this is true, and if so, is it any good?