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Old 05.01.2009, 21:47
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King Cake

Tomorrow is Epiphany and all Swiss bakeries and supermarkets will sell King Cake (Dreikönigskuchen or gâteau des rois respectively). The Swiss variety looks like this:



But it comes with a cardboard crown on top. There is a plastic king figure hidden in one of the outside pieces and who finds it is "king for a day" (example )

The cake is fairly similar everywhere, sweet dough with sugar or almonds on top. Only in confiserie Sprüngli have I encountered a different variety so far, with sweeter enamel and a nut case.

The interesting bit is that this tradition was revived in the 1950s here by a Swiss who researched bread as a hobby. He found a bakery that made the king cake according to a local reciepe and helped to make a national tradition out of this. I've recently read his obituary in a newspaper.
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:08
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Re: King Cake

Nathu,
Thanks for the post. I will stop at the local bakery tomorrow morning and buy a couple of <<gâteau des rois>> , it will make a nice soft landing into the first project meeting of 2009.
--I.
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  #3  
Old 05.01.2009, 22:08
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Re: King Cake

For those who are unsure of what Epiphany is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:08
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Re: King Cake

I hope his obituary has nothing to do with the cake (which is delicious!)
Although, one comes quite close to choking on the "King" sometimes.......!

Have also experienced a "Queen" on the odd occasion (in a full skirt!!!)

Very interesting.....
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  #5  
Old 05.01.2009, 22:12
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Re: King Cake

I wonder if this is related to the tradition in our house in which my uncle, upon being served the last piece of Christmas cake, usually around January 6th, could be heard to cry, "Cake, cake, 'king cake! Haven't we got anything else to eat, woman?"

Probably not, I suppose...
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:15
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Re: King Cake

Quote:
I wonder if this is related to the tradition in our house in which my uncle, upon being served the last piece of Christmas cake, usually around January 6th, could be heard to cry, "Cake, cake, 'king cake! Haven't we got anything else to eat, woman?"

Probably not, I suppose...
Hmm.........sounds familiar...........
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:15
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Re: King Cake

Quote:
I wonder if this is related to the tradition in our house in which my uncle, upon being served the last piece of Christmas cake, usually around January 6th, could be heard to cry, "Cake, cake, 'king cake! Haven't we got anything else to eat, woman?"

Probably not, I suppose...

Nice one!!!
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  #8  
Old 05.01.2009, 22:20
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Re: King Cake

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Tomorrow is Epiphany and all Swiss bakeries and supermarkets will sell King Cake (Dreikönigskuchen or gâteau des rois respectively). The Swiss variety looks like this:



But it comes with a cardboard crown on top. There is a plastic king figure hidden in one of the outside pieces and who finds it is "king for a day" (example )

The cake is fairly similar everywhere, sweet dough with sugar or almonds on top. Only in confiserie Sprüngli have I encountered a different variety so far, with sweeter enamel and a nut case.

The interesting bit is that this tradition was revived in the 1950s here by a Swiss who researched bread as a hobby. He found a bakery that made the king cake according to a local reciepe and helped to make a national tradition out of this. I've recently read his obituary in a newspaper.
Having been here quite a few years, I still didn't know the background to this cake business......thanks for clearing it up!
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:23
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Re: King Cake

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Tomorrow is Epiphany and all Swiss bakeries and supermarkets will sell King Cake (Dreikönigskuchen or gâteau des rois respectively)....
oops , we ate ours on saturday already - is that bad luck?
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  #10  
Old 05.01.2009, 22:30
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Re: King Cake

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oops , we ate ours on saturday already - is that bad luck?
Maybe not if you eat a second one tomorrow! Yesterday I've heard two salesladies chatting in a Shop Ville bakery: "I want to buy this delicious king cake, but it will be hard by Tuesday!"

I hope everybody reports back if he found the king or queen (manufactoring error? ) in his bread.
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:43
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Re: King Cake

Oh, and just a few hours ago the 3 Kings have landed in Spain.... they should be now visiting every family and leaving their presents to the good kids. Bad ones, like me get a lump of charcoal

By the way, there is also a Kings Cake - that is a a richer version of the Swiss cake, with candied fruit and all sorts of nut. Sometimes it has cream in the middle. Oh well.....
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Old 05.01.2009, 22:49
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Re: King Cake

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Maybe not if you eat a second one tomorrow! Yesterday I've heard two salesladies chatting in a Shop Ville bakery: "I want to buy this delicious king cake, but it will be hard by Tuesday!"

I hope everybody reports back if he found the king or queen (manufactoring error? ) in his bread.
why do they start selling it on saturday? do people really keep it till tomorrow? the plastic piece i found was very unisex looking...perhaps it is a political correctness thing....)
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Old 05.01.2009, 23:33
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Re: King Cake

The person who gets the piece with the plastic treat inside (I found a sword last time I think) gets to be the king for the day, wearing the hat that comes with the cake and they get to order everyone else around.

Watch out for this treat and try not to chip your teeth on it. I wonder how much extra work dentists get at this time of year
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Old 06.01.2009, 00:04
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Re: King Cake

For good teeth and that itty bit of plastic not much. Just another of those wonderful traditions that encompass you in Switzerland! How nice to forget the diet and bite into a piece of fruit bread.even better served in good company and with butter.
Enjoy.
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Old 06.01.2009, 10:01
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Re: King Cake

Thanks for making this post Nathu...I always enjoy learning more about food traditions...something I believe is important during the whole integration process.

Conveniently, we also made a post about King's Cake in our blog, which includes a recipe for making your own - something that is also quite good to enjoy making for the next few months.

Jack
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Old 06.01.2009, 10:19
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Re: King Cake

Am proudly wearing the crown in the office this morning. Funny though no one is taking any notice of my commands - so business as usual then
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Old 06.01.2009, 10:50
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Re: King Cake

Got mine at Sutter yesterday and I also got the king this morning. King for a day with the Burger King crown.
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  #18  
Old 06.01.2009, 11:13
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Re: King Cake

I found once the king on a "luxury" version of the cake. The said king was not plastic but a porcelaine one.

Then I could have needed the crown on my tooth
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Old 06.01.2009, 11:34
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Re: King Cake

The person who gets the plastic or porcelain figure gets to be the king yes, but has to buy another cake!
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Old 06.01.2009, 13:24
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Re: King Cake

Funny thing - last night a made my own 'king cake' a nice ring of cinnamon buns. But I forgot to hide a king! Guess I'll have to make more later today!
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