Yesterday I had that inner dilemma only New Orleanians have: Should I eat the King Cake or should I not eat the King Cake? I try to limit my King Cake intake during Carnival season, but yesterday the treat was especially difficult to resist because it was cheesecake King Cake.
Around 1:20 p.m., a co-worker whispered in my office, “There’s a King Cake cheesecake from Copeland’s in the fridge. You should get it quick! There are only 12 slices.”
Cheesecake! I love cheesecake. “But no, I don’t need that,” I thought. “My wedding is less than six months away and I'm trying to cut back on sugar. Nothing good could come from this King Cake cheesecake.”
But then about four people mentioned the cheesecake to me in the following 22 minutes. “Have you tried this King Cake cheesecake?” “You have to try this King Cake cheesecake!” “Hurry and get a piece before someone else takes the cheesecake!” So around 1:52 p.m., I gave in to my cravings, and I grabbed a half-slice of cheesecake from the black take-out container.
I felt slightly defeated. I had tried to stay so strong for the sake of my health, but, in the end, the cheesecake won.
However, as soon as I had my first bite, I quickly changed my mind; that cheesecake was one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had. The dessert had a King Cake flair with purple, yellow and green sprinkles and it tasted like King Cake, but it also had that fluffy-yet-dense consistency only cheesecake has. It was so much better than the typical King Cake found in our office kitchen at this time of year. I immediately decided I was a crazy woman for telling myself I shouldn’t eat it.
I used to think Carnival season was all about drinking, but it's also a strong time for desserts, particularly the King Cake-inspired kind. I’ve been noticing so many variations recently, like Garden and Gun's recipe for King Cake cupcakes and Blue Bell’s Mardi Gras King Cake Ice Cream (which is available at most grocery stores and Walgreen's). I even saw a recipe for King Cake jelly shots on Facebook. I have also noticed King Cake vodka, King Cake pancakes, King Cake coffee, King Cake macarons… The list seems endless.
For my second Carnival season, I thought I would be excited to see new parades, but I'm really looking forward to all of the different ways to eat King Cake. If you have a King Cake-inspired recipe, I'd love to see it. Until then, I may or may not be at Copeland's looking for King Cake cheesecake.