The most exciting thing about regular old King Cake is the fact that lurking within is a creepy plastic newborn whose appearance in your slice means prosperity in your future. Barring that chance to secure the good luck baby (or bean, as the case may be) even the most well-made King Cake, IMHO, is a somewhat dry over-sugary circular pastry.
The ever creative chefs at Three Brothers Bakery have introduced their own spin on King Cake that resolves the failings of typical versions. To do so, they pretty much reverse the proportions of cream cheese and cake.
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Using King Cake as the crust base, the bakery then pours its classic cheesecake as the second main layer and bakes this sweet amalgam in the oven. In keeping with the symbolic Mardi Gras colors, the King Cheesecake is topped with green (faith), purple (justice), and yellow (power) sanding sugar.
The result is a lovely marriage of creamy and flaky textures with strong notes of dairy, egg, and vanilla. It's way more decadent than your average king cake, but isn't decadence the whole point of Mardi Gras? Alas, no baby inside; however, the soft top layer means it's not hard to insert your own little bugger from Party City in there someplace.
The King Cake Cheesecake will be available at the beginning of February, and Three Brothers Bakery encourages you to call ahead to place an order. A full cake sells for $59.95, and slices cost $6.95.