Mother Earth Living

Calendula Officinalis: King Cake with Calendula

Calendula—a Golden Herb for Garden and Kitchen
By Susan Belsinger
February/March 2008
Add to My MSN

'Sherbet Fizz'
Susan Belsinger


Content Tools

Related Content

Herb to Know: Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) has been a garden staple for centuries, thanks to its springy blos...

New Year, New Herbs, New Spices

At the start of a new year, make a resolution to clear your spice cupboard of old herbs and spices.

2 Thanksgiving Staples: Lovage and Sage

Welcome the holidays with two flavorful Thanksgiving herbs. Use lovage in our recipe for Cream of Ca...

Natural Home Bath of the Year 2008: Stress-Free Zone

This spa-like bathroom pampers its owners—and the planet.

Makes 16 to 20 servings

King Cake, a time-honored Mardi Gras dessert, is a lightly sweetened yeast bread decorated with thin frosting and bands of colored sugar crystals. Mardi Gras colors are purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Although lemon zest is traditional for King Cake, I’ve used orange zest and calendula in this version.

• ⅔ cup milk
• ½ cup dried OR ¾ cup fresh calendula petals
• ½ cup warm water
• Generous teaspoon honey
• 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
• About 4 cups unbleached flour
• 1 cup whole-wheat flour
• ⅓ cup sugar
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 scant teaspoon mace
• Zest of 1 orange
• 4 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
• Glaze: 1 egg slightly beaten with 2 teaspoons milk

To make dough: In a small saucepan, combine milk and calendula and heat to a bare simmer. Remove pan from heat and allow liquid to cool. (When flour is added later, liquid should be warm—not hot or cold.)

Measure warm water into a glass measuring cup, add honey and stir. Sprinkle with yeast and stir. Set in a warm place for about 10 minutes, until yeast foams up and nearly doubles in volume.

Meanwhile, combine flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and mace in a large bowl and toss to mix. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast mixture and warm calendula milk. (If necessary, gently reheat milk to warm.) Add zest, egg yolks and butter and stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are well-mixed. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead—pushing and pulling with your fingers—for 5 to 10 minutes to form a large ball. Dust work surface lightly with flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Dough should be shiny, elastic and not sticky.

Lightly oil or butter a large bowl and place dough in bowl; rotate ball so that top is lightly oiled. Cover bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel and set in a warm spot for about 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

To shape cake: Punch down dough, remove it from the bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, then shape into a cylinder about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and 20 to 24 inches long.

Twist cylinder (like you are wringing it) a few times and pinch ends together to form a large circle. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a towel. Set in a warm spot for another 45 minutes until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a pastry brush, spread egg-and-milk glaze over entire cake. Bake in the center of oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool cake on wire rack.

Icing

• 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon water
• Green, purple and yellow sugar sprinkles

Beat sugar, butter, lemon juice and water until smooth to make a soft icing. If icing is too stiff, add a bit more water; if too soft, add a bit more sugar. Spread icing on cool cake, then immediately add sugar sprinkles. (If you wait, they won’t stick.)

Contributing Editor Susan Belsinger frequently writes about the many aspects of herbs, especially using them in cooking.

For the main article, Calendula Officinalis: Herb of the Year 2008, click here.


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.