Mardi Gras

Pulled-pork king cake a new Mardi Gras tradition

D'IBERVILLE -- There are many food seasons on the Coast: there's gumbo season and oyster season and presently, there's king cake season.

Imagine sitting down with friends, family and colleagues to enjoy a slice of king cake filled with blueberry and cream cheese, apple or strawberry.

Now imagine your favorite Mardi Gras pastry is filled with succulent, savory, barbecued pulled pork.

Jennifer Noble, owner of Cheeky Monkey Cake Co. in D'Iberville, said she wanted to offer her king cake customers something different this year.

"Last year, we wanted to do something sweet and savory, so we came up with a king cake that has bacon, our Achin' for Bacon king cake," she said. "It sold so well that we wanted to add another sweet-and-savory flavor this year."

And thus the pulled-pork king cake was born. But Noble said she can't take all the credit for the creation.

"I have a very creative staff -- one of them came up with this idea," she said.

Noble said she reached out to her friend James Lee of J. Lee's Gourmet BBQ Sauce for some advice on the direction of the pastry.

"We were already doing a pulled-pork cupcake that featured James' award-winning sauce," she said.

Lee, whose wedding cake Noble had designed and baked, said he knew the two would have a high-quality product.

"Jennifer did a great job with my wedding cake," he said.

The king cake is made with Noble's sweet king cake dough, but she does not add the cinnamon as she would in a traditional king cake. The cake is then cut in half and filled with pork that is smoked at Twin Peaks, Noble's business neighbor in D'Iberville. The pork is simmered in Lee's sauce, then added to the cake.

The cake is topped with more of Lee's sauce, then sprinkled with purple and green salt to give it extra Mardi Gras flair.

The combination may seem odd, but Noble said the demand has been high for the pork-filled pastry.

"This has been very successful for us," she said. "We make each cake to order. They have done so well this year that we will be bringing them back next year."

The cakes are baby optional.

"We do not put the baby in the cake because the pork is hot when it's added," she said. "But there is one in the box that you can put inside yourself if you want."