Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Catholic Culture: Mardi Gras!! and Paleo, Dye free King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday! I encourage you to watch this short video on the catholic history of Mardi Gras, It's not long, less than 4 minutes, but very educational.

Years ago, I found this beautiful prayer said around the dinner table on Mardi Gras, I am not certain of the source and couldn't find it again today online, but wanted to share it.

( on the eve of Ash Wednesday )

Lord our God, on the eve of Ash Wednesday, we ask that you bless our celebration of the feast of Mardi Gras.
Bless our table, our food and drink, as well as all of us who sit about this feast day table.
Come, gracious Lord, and join us at this feast as we prepare to join your Son, Jesus, by prayerfully entering into these 40 days of Lent.
As the food and the drink of this feast give nourishment and strength to our bodies and spirits, so may we, during this coming season of Lent, give strength and support to each other and to all who accompany us on this pilgrimage of prayer from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. 
As this Lenten roadway causes us to reflect upon the death of our Lord, may we also remember his victory and his resurrection from the dead.
 May this dinner on the eve of the day of ashes be a joyful foretaste of the rebirth and new life that is the promise of the feast of the Ressurection. Together for the final time before these 40 days let us sing the ancient song of joyful victory: Alleluia! 

Although I will not have all my baby chics with me tonight, I hope to sneak this prayer in somehow, so as to put them in the mindset of what lies ahead. It is so important, especially with children, to surround the traditions of the faith, even fasting and penance, with the cushion of joy and hope. In light of that, I made the following cake today...

Here's what I did. I used this recipe as a basis, because I love that she has multiple options for food allergies plus she makes it sugar free. I decided to adjust some things, however. I do not use regular food dye, and have learned how to make natural colors on my own, and I did not make it completely sugar free, I subbed some coconut sugar and monk fruit. But overall my cake is still lower carb. So my adjustments are as follows:

cake batter: I used 3 Tb. coconut sugar plus a 1/4 tsp. pure monk fruit for my sweetener
Cheesecake filling: I added a Tb. coconut sugar plus maybe 1/8 tsp. monk fruit
Pecan crumble: I used a Tb. coconut sugar plus 1/8 tsp. monk fruit
Apple filling: maybe a tsp. of coconut sugar. Since apples provide natural sweetness

Cream cheese frosting: I adjusted this quite a bit because I didn’t want it to be too liquidy and knew I would be adding liquid colors so here's what I did:

2 full containers of Trader Joe's Goat milk cream cheese
2 Tb. organic butter
1/4 cup goat milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tb. coconut sugar
1/4 tsp. pure monk fruit
I blended in the vitamix

Ingredients I needed for the cake batter: 
Ingredients I used for the fillings:

Now for natural colors. You can use these. And they work pretty well. But you have to use a lot to get the colors you want, and it costs an arm and a leg. I did have a little of red and blue left. So worked on some purple with it.

Natural Purple
I wasn't happy with it, and have learned to use juice from wild blueberries for a purple or blue hue (to get blue you add a little baking soda and it reacts and changes it to a grey-ish blue). But I used my costco wild blueberries (regular will not produce a purple hue, as much) and added about 3 Tb. of the juice, and was happy with results. 

Natural Green 
For Natural green there are a number of solutions; the India Tree dyes will work (mixing blue and yellow of course) but you can also use chlorophyl if in small amounts, and come out with a mint green tint. Here is what I had on hand. 

Natural Yellow
There is a yellow in the India Tree set, but of course, I was out. So I have learned you can make a very light yellow tint, with a few sprinkles of Tumeric. Don't overdo it though, because it is a spice that will add flavor. I find though that 4-5 shakes, stir it up and let it sit a bit, then stir it again. And you get a nice pale yellow. Here is the yellow sitting next to the green for a reference. 

The Results!
If you follow Satisfying Eats instructions well, it should turn out very well. Also do yourselves a favor, mamas, and make an easy dinner. This took me most of the afternoon to assemble, not an every day thing but a special treat. I just threw some roast chickens in the oven to cook and am going to make a pot of rice and salad as sides. I am excited to share this with my family as we kick off the season of Lent! 

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