Real Cajun Donald Link with Paula Disbrowe
- 3 ounces pecans, toasted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 ounce milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pound cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Chocolate shavings, for garnish
- Place the pecans and sugar in a food processor and pulse together for 30 seconds.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and the pecan-sugar mixture, then stir in the flour and salt until just mixed. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Use your fingers to press the chilled dough into a 9-inch square baking dish. Prick the dough with a fork and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool the cooked dough while preparing the remaining layers.
- Heat the cream for the pudding in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. When the cream is hot (but not boiling), temper the cream into the yolks by slowly adding half the cream while stirring vigorously, then stir the egg mixture back into the cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Place the dark and milk chocolate in a mixing bowl with the butter, vanilla, and salt. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted. Spread the pudding in a shallow dish to cool and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly on the surface so a skin does not form.
- In a small mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar together until smooth.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whip a few minutes more, until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the cream cheese over the cooled shortbread crust, top with the pudding, and then add the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Garnish with additional chocolate shavings, if desired.
- 1 (¼-oz.) package active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2¾ cups flour
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- 8 tbsp. softened butter
- 1 lb. cream cheese
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Green, purple, and yellow sanding sugars
- Make the dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a hook, combine yeast, ½ tsp. of the sugar, and ¼ cup water heated to 115°. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 minute. Turn mixer off and add flour and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together. Turn mixer speed to high and knead dough for 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue kneading until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in size, 1½–2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and zest in a large bowl and beat on medium speed of a hand mixer until combined; set aside.
- Punch down dough and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle, about ¼"-thick. Cut a hole in the center of the circle and pull with your fingers to widen. Place dollops of filling evenly around circle halfway between outer edge and inner hole. Drape outside edges over filling and continue rolling outside inward until filling is covered, widening inner hole as needed, until dough covers the seam. Transfer rolled dough circle to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour. Heat oven to 350°. Uncover cake and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Make the icing: Whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer king cake to a cutting board or serving platter; spread icing evenly over top of cake and sprinkle evenly with sanding sugars.
- 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
- 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting
- Begin by activating the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook (or large mixing bowl) attachment add the warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar. Stir and set aside until the yeast has dissolved, about 10 minutes.
- To the bowl add the 1/4 cup of sugar, salt, egg, and the evaporated milk. With the mixer on low, add half the flour and mix until just combined. Add the shortening, and then gradually add the remaining flour until the dough forms into a mass. Turn off the mixer and transfer to floured surface. Add more flour, if needed, until you have an even, medium-textured (it should be pretty firm) dough. Add the dough to a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for at least 3 to 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Once rested, gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top so you can work with the dough. Gently shape the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle so it can be cut into squares. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut into squares, (you should yield 12 large squares, depending on how thick you rolled the dough).
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat, (you want to make sure there is plenty of room as the beignets will puff up when cooked) to 350 degrees F. Fry the beignets in batches, about 3 minutes per batch. Turn them in the oil while they fry to brown evenly on both sides. Remove from the oil a paper towel lined sheet pan and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining dough. To serve, transfer beignets to a serving platter and dust generously with powdered sugar.
Happy Mardi Gras!