Spatula Diaries: King cakes get personal

Typical Louisiana. Just when the rest of the country is swearing off all things fattening, here we go after New Year’s rolling out iced-to-the-hilt king cakes whose very nature requires eating in succession. But one trend that’s emerged, perhaps to combat this, is the personal or mini king cake, which more bakeries around the region are offering.

A beauty in that category is the king cake cupcake by Gourmet Girls catering in Baton Rouge (pictured). Owner Kathy Mangham says the pastry was a bit of an accident resulting from an overrun of homemade brioche dough last year. She used the surplus to create a king cake cupcake, icing it with a glaze of confectioner’s sugar and whipping cream, and then painting it with dyed sugar and edible glitter. It even gets its own baby. Facebook helped the treat go viral, and it’s been a seasonal mainstay every since. Mangham agrees that the personal aspect makes it appealing.

Elsewhere in Baton Rouge, Strands Cafe has also introduced personal king cakes, made by pastry chef and co-owner Lilita Blanchard. The spot is one of a few places to offer the galette des rois, the traditional French cake made with puff pastry and marzipan. Blanchard makes these in three sizes, including a 4-inch that is perfect for limited indulgence. “It allows you to have something wonderful without going overboard,” she says.

Meanwhile, Forte Grove Bakery, a Red Stick Farmers Market vendor based in Plaquemine, has a new addition this year, mini chocolate king cakes. The Peanut Butter Mambo features chocolate bread with peanut butter morsels, chocolate ganache and Reese pieces, and the Chocitoulas, is made of chocolate bread with house made caramel, chocolate ganache and toffee brittle.

Both Ambrosia Bakery and Calandro’s, two of Baton Rouge’s biggest king cake purveyors sell 6-inch minis. Serving 4-6, they’re not exactly personal, but they’re still done and gone before you can do any real damage. And while other go-to south Louisiana king cake sellers like Poupart Bakery, Baum’s and Gambino’s don’t offer a mini version yet, you can indeed order personal cakes through famed outlets Haydel’s and Randazzo’s.

Let me know your thoughts. Where’s your favorite place to buy a mini king cake?

Visit Maggie at www.hungryforlouisiana.com and follow her on Twitter at @mhrwriter.

 

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