With rich chocolate and a smooth caramel sauce, who could resist this delicious king cake?
Salted Caramel and Chocolate King Cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- King Cake Dough (recipe follows)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
- Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
- Garnish: assorted gold sprinkles*
Salted Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons water, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Lightly punch down King Cake Dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. In another small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water.
- Turn out King Cake Dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide in half. Roll one half into a 24×6-inch rectangle. Using a small offset spatula, spread half of butter mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with half of chocolate. Brush border with egg wash. Starting with long side opposite border, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to even thickness, if necessary. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, remaining filling, and remaining chocolate.
- Carefully twist logs together, and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Form into a circle, twisting and pinching ends to seal. (Use egg wash, if needed.) Slide parchment onto a baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until puffed, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brush dough with egg wash.
- Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°, about 50 minutes, loosely covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with Salted Caramel Sauce, and garnish with sprinkles, if desired.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- In a small saucepan, heat cream and sea salt over medium-low heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan and salt is dissolved. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and 3 tablespoons water over high heat, being, careful not to splash sides of pan. (Mixture should look like wet sand.) Use remaining 1 tablespoon water to brush down sides of pan, and stir to help sugar dissolve. (Do not stir once it starts to boil). Cook until light amber colored, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; slowly add warm cream mixture, whisking to combine. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until combined. Stir in vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
*We used Wilton Gold Pearlized Sprinkles and Wilton Gold Sugar Pearl Sprinkles.
King Cake Dough
- 4½ cups bread flour, divided
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 (0.25-ounce) package instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water, butter, and vanilla over medium heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120° to 130°. Add warm butter mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined and cooled slightly, about 2 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 2½ cups flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft dough forms, about 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook. (Dough will be slightly sticky.) Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
- Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.