The Shameless Chef: The Bastard King

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No, this isn't an article about William I of England; today is my 30th Fat Tuesday, and I have yet to sample a Mardi Gras king cake. This will not stand. But I can't afford to buy one at a bakery (not a good one, anyway), so I'll do what I always do: cobble it together from a recipe I've never tried before and hope nobody on my block has to call in the haz-mat teams again. I've already put the thing together, and the whole experience was dangerously close to actual baking, so maybe it'll be great. Of course, the foodies will still ride me for using packaged crust, and even foodier folks will ride them for suggesting I use flour and cherries I didn't grow myself, and still purer foodies will ride those foodies for not demanding that I personally apologize to every chicken whose eggs I used in the recipe, because they swear up and down that you can "taste the forgiveness." So yes, this is a bastardized king cake. And that's the way I likes it.

You will need:

  • 2 packs of crescent rolls.
  • 1 can of pie filling. Flavor is up to you; I used cherry, but you can use whichever flavor you wish. I'm told people sometimes use blackberry preserves, and I certainly won't argue with that.
  • 1 pack of cream cheese, preferably whipped / soft for easier spreading.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, which will get everywhere.
  • I guess a plastic baby? I dunno, I find that shit kind of creepy, so I opted out of putting a baby in my food. But if you're a purist... well, if you're a purist, there's no way you'll cook this, so do whatever. I almost bought a Batman action figure to use instead, if that helps. Batcake!
  • Colored sugar or icing (green, gold and purple). Icing is not my favorite, so I used food coloring on some granulated sugar
  • This recipe my lovely and talented friend Sarah sent me says to lay out the crescent rolls in a circle. I could have done that if I was using only one tube or a bigger cookie sheet, but I wasn't, so I pretty much just had to lay them all out flat, being sure to overlap them enough to prevent the leaks.

    You're not going to get a watertight seal, so don't sweat a couple of teeny gaps and don't worry about the seams. Now, you'll want to mix 8 ounces or so of the cream cheese with the 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Once that's mixed together and spreadable, spread it on over the crescent rolls in an even coating, up to about an inch from the edge (kind of like we did with the pizza two weeks ago). Now do the same thing with the filling; just open up the can and dump it in the middle. Don't worry about spreading it out towards the edges, really.

    What I did was fold it up into kind of a pastry burrito, bringing the outer edges toward the center.

    And that's it for the basic construction, unless you wanna go ahead and stick your little plastic fetus in there like the sick freak you are. Now bake that sucker on the middle rack for between 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Okay, I'm about to show you the finished product. Please keep in mind: I had never done this before, and there were no pictures accompanying the recipe. Plus I'm kind of an idiot. I should quit stalling. Here you go...

    If you're wondering why it looks like I took it outside and slapped it against the side of my house, I wondered the same thing. It's too bad I'm ineligible for Eating Our Words' Cooking FAIL Contest, because I think we would definitely have a finalist here. As I said, I don't like icing, so I just buttered it up a little and sprinkled my colored sugar on top of it. For some reason the "gold" coloring looks orange and the "purple" coloring looks black, but... I dunno what to say for "but." At least I tried to use the right colors? Christ.

    So here's the deal: I tried it, and it tastes AMAZING. No, I'm not kidding. That mushy puddle of goo is goddamn delicious. So here is what I will do, when I inevitably cook this again:

    1. I will use a pan. Probably a bread pan. (I almost typed "bedpan", gross.) I will line the bottom and sides with crescent roll crust and, once the filling is inside, will place more crust over the top. I will hold the crust in place with duct tape. Maybe I'll ask someone about that last part before I try it. 2. I will try to find an icing I like and use it. Because as it is, it looks kind of like that lady who got her face bitten off by a monkey named Travis. 3. I will use store-bought confectioners' sugar for decoration, or else I will figure out how to make food coloring color in a more bright and visible manner. I will also mix it together the night before and pack it with rice to suck out the moisture. 4. I will absolutely put a Batman action figure in there. Because if all else fails, he will definitely keep that son of a bitch in line.

    Have a great Mardi Gras! Don't record ladies flashing their tits and put it on YouTube. That is gauche.

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