For the King Cake
- 1 pound white bread, such as Pullman loaf or French, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 5 cups plus ¼ cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cups Confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Purple, green and gold sanding sugar, for decorating
- Blackberry Compote, for serving, optional
- Lemon Goat Cheese Ice Cream, for serving, optional, or storebought vanilla ice cream
For the Blackberry Compote
- 3 pints blackberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ lemon, juiced and zested
- ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
For the Lemon Goat Cheese Ice Cream
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 pound soft, mild goat cheese, crumbled at room temperature
To Make the King Cake:
Place the bread in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and whisk until thickened and smooth. Whisk in 5 cups of the milk, then pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and allow to sit for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Brush a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter, coating well on all sides, then gently stir the remaining melted butter into the bread mixture. Spoon the bread mixture into the buttered pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the center of the bread pudding is set and the top is golden brown, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
While the bread pudding is cooling, combine the confectioners’ sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk and the lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. After the pudding has cooled for 15 minutes, pour the sugar glaze evenly over the top, then decorate with the colored sanding sugar as desired.
To Make the Blackberry Compote:
In a large saucepan combine two pints of the blackberries and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the berries have released their juices and the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining blackberries. Set aside to cool.
To Make the Lemon Goat Cheese Ice Cream:
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and place another slightly smaller heatproof bowl on top.
Combine the milk, sugar and lemon zest in a large saucepan and bring just to a boil.
In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then whisk in some of the hot milk mixture, little by little, to temper the yolks. Whisk the yolk-milk mixture into the hot milk remaining in the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat immediately and strain through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl set over the ice bath. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth, then allow to cool to room temperature. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
Makes about 1 quart
Yield: Serves 12
Recipe courtesy Chef Amy Lemon and Chef Emeril Lagasse, NOLA Restaurant