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Posted on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 10 a.m.

Make a King Cake Shake for Mardi Gras

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day [POONCH-key], or Carnival, today — the day before Ash Wednesday — is a time of fun and feasting before the 40 days of Lent, which ends at Easter.

Today is a day of consummate indulgence before a period of penitence.

I will be starting my morning with espresso and a paczek (pronounced [POON-chek]. paczek=the singular of paczki). Never fear the fat or calories, just relinquish yourself to the sugar!

It is also traditional on this day to enjoy King Cake, a New Orleans favorite.  I would have made one of these fabulous pastries, but my stove finally had to be given last rites; it was nearly a week until my new one was installed.

So, necessity being the mother of invention, while I was still oven-less, I created a variation on the theme: I made a shake, instead!

I combined three flavors of ice cream to approximate the flavor of the sweet yeast bread.  Ben and Jerry's makes Cake Batter ice cream, which offered a good base. Butter Pecan added the flavor of the nuts, which are often used in a filling for the treat. Rum Raisin contributed a hint of the liquor which can be added to the pastry's glaze. And adding a bit of bourbon could only enhance the concoction, right?

It is customary to bake a trinket into the King Cake — a small baby figure specifically designed for this purpose, or a bean if the other isn't available.  The one who finds the trinket in his or her piece earns certain privileges, perhaps being named king or queen of a krewe.  It is also expected that he or she would host a party or supply the next year's cake.

This rich, creamy shake also lets you hide the trinket by simply dropping it into one of the glasses before serving your guests.  Pay homage to other King Cake customs, as well, by sprinkling your drink with purple, green and gold decorations — they're the colors of Mardi Gras!

King Cake Shake

1-1/2 cups cake batter ice cream
1/2 cup butter pecan ice cream
1/2 cup rum raisin ice cream
1 tablespoon bourbon (or vanilla extract)
1 cup skim milk
trinket: baby figure or bean
whipped cream, for serving
purple, green and gold sprinkles or colored sugars, for decoration

Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz them together until smooth. Place a trinket into the bottom of one of four small glasses. Pour the shake into the glasses, top with whipped cream and decorations, and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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Mary Bilyeu writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

You should also visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.