Long Live The King (Cake)
January 6 marks the beginning of the Carnival season in New Orleans, a season imbued with a decadent air of royalty and extravagance. From Twelfth Night, the twelfth night after Christmas, until Mardi Gras, the day before Lent, party-goers are encouraged to revel in the flamboyance of the parades as well as the mystique of the Krewes’ Balls, where a King and Queen announce the season’s debutantes in the Ball Tableau. But perhaps the tradition most likely to pique the interest of online pastry program students is none other than that of the King Cake.
A delicious tradition
The name “King Cake” derives from an alternate name for Twelfth Night, Three Kings Day. This Christian holiday marks the arrival of the Magi at the Nativity and the beginning of Carnival. The tradition holds that after the cake is made, a baby figurine is placed into it and then covered with frosting. In some cases, a plastic pig or bead is used in lieu of a baby. The person who receives the figurine in their slice of cake becomes King (or Queen), whose royal duties include hosting the next King Cake party.
Given there are more than 50 days separating Twelfth Night and Mardi Gras, you can imagine the number of parties to be had and cakes to be eaten! Participate in the cake festivities by exploring and mastering cake decorating methods!