Boudin. Stuffed in a King Cake. The first time I read the words in an article linked on Facebook, I just about fell out of my seat, and thought "I GOTTA TRY IT." Because I'm me, that thought slowly turned to "I GOTTA MAKE IT."
For science. And for the people, of course.
Honestly, as daunting as the words may seem, they really aren't. The idea of stuffing bread or cake of some sort with meat is nothing new. As Penny described in her fanpost, this isn't all that different from a kolache. And with the rice and pork fat/liver combination, boudin's consistency is kind of perfect for this sort of thing. I've even previously tried combining it with cornbread muffins, and all that took was rolling the sausage into a ball and dropping it into the batter in a cup.
So really, the hardest part about all of this is just making the dough. For me, that's more intimidating than it seems. For all of my prowess at cooking, I kind of suck at baking. I can screw up Duncan Hines brownies. Luckily, my good friend Whitney Andrus (you can follow her here), and her husband both happen to be fairly accomplished bakers. And eager to join in this quest for greatness. The bread/dough recipe was hers. From there, we just added the boudin, courtesy of Chris's Specialty Meats, along with some crackling crumbs courtesy of Ronnies on Florida.
King Cake/Bread Dough
(really, this is just lightly sweetened bread dough)
2 packages of active yeast (about a quarter of an ounce)
2.5 cups of warm (100-120 degrees) water
1/2 cup sweet and condensed milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
about 9-11 cups of flour
About three pounds of boudin
1 bag cracklin crumbs (in Baton Rouge you can find these at Ronnie's Boudin & Cracklins on Florida Blvd., but if you have a local place that makes them fresh, they probably sell these as well)
Steen Cane's Syrup
Starting with the dough, courtesy of Whitney.
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. In large bowl mix, water, sweet and condensed milk, veggie oil, sugar, salt in a bowl.
3. Add a cup of flour at a time till a good ball of dough forms.
4. Drape a warm damp towel over the bowl and put in the oven (completely cool oven!) with the oven light on for about an hour till the dough doubles in size.
5. Take out of bowl and knead on floured surface. Roll out long and narrow.
6. Prepare for stuffing glory.
7. Remove the boudin from the casing and place in a large bowl.
8. Create a line of the boudin, slightly off center down the dough with the boudin, mashing it into a nice solid line, leaving maybe an inch or two on each end. You want to make sure there's enough room to fold the whole thing over twice.
9. Fold over the dough over the line of boudin, then mash another line up against said fold, as in the picture. Brush the top of the fold with some butter. It later occured to us that including some Steens maybe in the folds might have brought us more of a sweet/savory combination throughout. If we ever try this again, a note for the future.
10. Fold over the rest of the dough over the other vein of boudin and seal shut. Loop the whole loaf into a circle.
11. On a large cookie sheet butter the pan completely. The more butter the better! Butter solves everything.
12. Brush the top of the king cake with butter before baking and halfway through. Then when done.
"Like Julia Child, I believe in butter," says Whitney.
13. When done, drizzle the top of the cake, lightly, with some Steen's. You might want to pour some out on a spoon and use that. You want to let it sit and soak in while still drying slightly to form a bit of a glaze. Sprinkle on your cracklin crumbs and drizzle with more Steen's. Allow to cool, then slice and serve.
This should feed a solid dozen to 15 people or so.