Nadiya Hussain's Praline King Cake

Nadiya Hussain's show-stopping Praline King Cake, inspired by her trip to New Orleans, is perfect for a celebration. As featured in her BBC2 series, Nadiya Bakes.

From the book

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Nadiya Bakes
A collection of all new baking recipes accompanied by gorgeous photography
Packed with cakes, pies, and puddings to warm the heart and lift the spirits
Including mouthwatering savoury bakes as well as irresistible sweets

Introduction

The clue is in the name here. This is quite some cake, though technically it’s more like a sweet bread. It is filled with praline cream and decorated with icing and coloured sugar, typically green and yellow. I’m using coloured desiccated coconut instead, but you can stick to sugar if you like your cake super sweet. I’ve tried the real thing in New Orleans and it’s delicious!

Serves 10

Ingredients

For the ‘cake’:
600g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
7g fast-action yeast
7g salt
40g caster sugar
230ml whole milk
2 medium eggs
butter, cooking oil spray or cake release, for greasing the tin
For the praline filling:
70g caster sugar
40g pecans
225g full-fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
For the icing:
200g icing sugar, sieved
2–3 tbsp cold water
To finish:
50g desiccated coconut
green gel food colouring
yellow gel food colouring

Essential kit

You will need: a free-standing mixer with a dough hook and a 2-litre bundt tin.

Instructions

Prep time: 50 minutes, plus rising. Cook time: 40 minutes

Start by making the dough. Add the flour to a mixing bowl with the butter, yeast, salt and sugar and mix until combined. Make a well in the centre. Measure out the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk just to break up the eggs. If the liquid in the jug does not come up to 350ml, add more milk until it does.

Pour in and mix until the dough comes together. Using a free-standing mixer with a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes on medium until the dough is stretchy and elastic. Cover with some clingfilm and leave for about 2 hours to double in size.

To make the praline, line a small tray with some baking paper. Add the sugar to a small pan in an even layer, breaking up any clumps before heating it. Pop onto a medium heat and you will see it caramelizing and melting around the edges. As soon as it does, begin mixing and as soon as the sugar has dissolved and is a golden amber, take off the heat. Add the pecans, stir fast and pour out onto the baking paper, making sure to flatten out. Leave to set completely. As soon as it has, blitz to rough crumbs in a food processor.

When you are ready to shape the dough, add the cream cheese to a bowl with the vanilla, almond extract and praline crumble mix and stir really well.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 40cm square. Take a 2-litre bundt tin, the least intricate that you can find, and grease generously with butter, cooking oil spray or cake release. Tip the cream mixture into the centre of the dough square and spread an even layer all over, leaving just a 1cm edge. Roll up like a Swiss roll. Now gently pick up and pop in the tin, making sure the seam is touching the small inner ring. Pinch the ends together. Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size.

When the dough has nearly doubled, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Bake for 35–40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and water until you have a thick icing.

Take the cake out and leave to cool on a cooling rack. As soon as it is totally cool, pop a tray underneath to catch spillage and drizzle the icing all over the top, allowing it to run freely down the sides.

Divide the desiccated coconut between two sandwich bags. Pop some different coloured food colouring into each one and, using your fingers, massage the colouring in. If you want to avoid using plastic bags, use bowls, using the back of a dessert spoon to work the colour into the coconut. Alternating the colours, sprinkle the coconut onto the iced cake.

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