How I wish I were in New Orleans right now for Mardi Gras parades and festivities. I went two years ago and it was amazing. Which is a complete understatement because words can't describe it. If you haven't been yet, I recommend adding "go to as many Mardi Gras as possible" to your bucket list.
Because I won't be in the Big Easy and it was my grandmother's birthday (who was born in Mobile, AL - where Mardi Gras actually originated in the states) I decided to make a traditional King Cake. Growing up in New Orleans as a kid, we had King Cake on the reg at school during the Mardi Gras season (not to mention days off from school - wait, why am I not living there??). I know the real stuff, and I can spot an impostor King Cake before even tasting it.
I normally have bad luck when it comes to using yeast, but thankfully my dad is an expert at using it (he saved this dough). Knowing Emeril is an expert on all things New Orleans, I decided to give his recipe a try. I loved Cucina Girl's picture-by-picture tutorial on how to craft the perfect King Cake, great for novices like me!
*A mistake I made was not allowing the active dry yeast to activate, so I recommend using instant yeast - MUCH easier to deal with!
*Also, the King Cake filling, to me, is the best part! So I would double the cream cheese mixture and use a cup of pecans, instead of 1/4 cup
The King Cake was a success and almost consumed in one day. I would absolutely use this recipe again - so authentic!