King Cake 2017 – Week 6

Such a long season… and I’m still working on that Monkey Monkey king cake at home…

18.  Haydel’s traditional – While out shopping on Saturday morning, I had a slice at a local shop. The cake was fine… a little stale from sitting out on a counter. But it was free king cake while I bought more carnival themed t-shirts.

19. vegan unknown – Saturday night I was at a Krewe du Vieux party and when the king cakes arrived, the ravenous hordes descended. I sampled the vegan one because it was what was left. Good cinnamon flavor but a really dense & heavy dough.

20. homemade praline/fig – My coworker made a tasty cake with a praline filling…and when there wasn’t quite enough, he added fig preserves. A tasty cake and some of the praline filling ended up tasting like toffee!

21. Antoine’s cream cheese – sometimes it pays off to show up for meetings. There were 2 king cakes at my Tuesday afternoon meeting. The cream cheese was a big lump so I picked around it. Very professional. Very sweet dough but otherwise good flavor.

22-24. Hi Do all flavors – Oh wow! One of my coworkers got a little confused and brought next week’s cake early so we had 2 king cakes at work this week. Hi Do is one of my favorites because the dough isn’t overly sweet and it has no icing, only colored sugar. He brought the giant one with many of their fillings: cream cheese, bavarian cream, strawberry, blueberry, lemon. So delicious. So guess I’ll number this twice, I had the blueberry which was slightly tart and a perfect contrast to the buttery slightly sweet dough. And then a few hours later, I had the pineapple filled (the box didn’t list it but whatevs). This was a little sweeter but the filling was still tasty. And then I had a smidge of the Bavarian Cream…so yummy.

Arty Tuesday: Carnival – Vandivert pt.2

This month I’m doing something a little bit different. The last Tuesday of February 2017 is Mardi Gras…the season leading up to it (since January 6th) is carnival. I discovered this treasure trove of photos taken by William Vandivert for Life magazine. Soon after photographing this late Mardi Gras (March 1st in 1938), he left for Europe, documenting the brewing troubles. I hope he had fun while he was here. So February will be photos from carnival 1938.

vandivert2

I wish these photos had captions… the band and the flambeaux can still be seen at night parades.

King Cake 2017 – week 5

As usually happens with a long king cake season, I think I’ve lost my place. I’m pretty sure I’m on

15. Haydel’s apple filled – apple filling is the one filling that I consistently like. Maybe because I have a high tolerance for canned apple. This one was moist and tasty and not too sweet despite the sugar and the filling (not too sweet is subjective of course).

But it might be higher. My aunt passed away on January 28th and her funeral was last Friday. Many people brought king cakes to the repast (meal after the funeral) at my uncle’s house. I eventually started shelving them until we had room. I don’t think I ate slice of others. But who knows…

16. Mckenzies traditional (baked by Tastee Donuts) – for many NOLA natives, this is THE king cake. The dough is a barely sweetened brioche with just a sugar on top, no icing. If you grew up with a more sugary cake, you do not understand this love. But! My coworker had her first piece this week and said she now understands the fervor and will go find one for her house. 

17. Monkey Monkey traditional – When a friend posted that this local coffee shop/bakery was making their own king cakes AND the baby is a monkey, I knew I needed one. The monkey is not baked in because he is rubber not plastic but I’m not complaining. The dough is soft and is cinnamon-y and…something else, mace or nutmeg. And the icing has a nice lemon flavor. 

Arty Tuesday: Carnival – Vandivert pt.1

This month I’m doing something a little bit different. The last Tuesday of February 2017 is Mardi Gras…the season leading up to it (since January 6th) is carnival. I discovered this treasure trove of photos taken by William Vandivert for Life magazine. Soon after photographing this late Mardi Gras (March 1st in 1938), he left for Europe, documenting the brewing troubles. I hope he had fun while he was here. So February will be photos from carnival 1938.

vandivert1

I wish these photos had captions…

King Cake 2017 – Week 4

10 different king cakes in the first 3 weeks, plus a donut and a cookie. Perhaps I should go join a gym…

11. Rouse’s cream cheese filled – not a fan of this cream cheese and I feel like this is more of a giant cinnamon roll. Meh.

12. Gracious Bakery chocolate – I’m that person who helps themselves to king cake at other people’s houses. My cousin was raving about this one and there was very little left but I got a thin slice and the dough was a good and that chocolate, wow. Not sweet at all, more like chocolat in a French croissant.

13. Chez Ru Renee plain – more mooching. This was very similar to a Haydel’s. Very tasty.

14. La Louisiane pecan praline – same brand as cake 1 and again at work, but this time with filling. I approached with trepidation but I actually really liked the filling. It’s not overly sweet and has the crumbly texture of almond paste. A very rich cake

 

Arty Tuesday: Basquiat – Earth

Last Basquiat post for January. Again, take a look at Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss if you’re into the NYC art scene of that era. Great read!

earth

Earth by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984)

I love the simplicity of this piece. It has Basquiat’s energy but is so much leaner than most of his pieces. I liked to think he was in a contemplative mode when he created it.

King Cake 2017 – Week 3

8. Chez Pierre plain – a friend brought this to a book club meeting and I was very excited since I’ve never had this one before. Good dough and not too cinnamony. The icing had a gummy texture and I’m not sure why but it did hold the sugar on pretty well.

9. Chez Pierre cream cheese filled – what are the odds, 2 king cakes from the same bakery in one week. The cream cheese was more like a mix of cream cheese & Bavarian creme which made me like it more. It was sort of blobbed in a tube in the middle of the cake which isn’t my favorite so tore the cake apart and dipped in the filling. Problem solved. 

10. Whole Foods Chantilly berry filled – honest, I went in for fruit, but then they had king cake by the slice. Nice crunchy sugar but I really didn’t taste the Chantilly cream. Still good flavor and it hadn’t had time to get stale. 

* King Cake sugar cooking – how could I resist? This was on sale at my local Theo’s Pizza so I grabbed one as I bought my delicious Local Pro.