So I have a friend… A very good friend that she prefers for her birthday a meat loaf shaped as a cake instead of a real birthday cake. Well she prefers both a meat loaf cake and a real cake, but in the case she had to pick one, she will pick the meatloaf. It is a neat idea that her mom started and carried on till this last weekend when her birthday arrived and her mom was not here to make it. Oh what a disaster. Who you gonna call? The rescue semiprofessional chef Webby (that would be me). So I made one and it looked just like the one in the picture above. Actually it is the one in the picture.
We need the traditional ingredient for a meat-loaf cake and some unorthodox methods and about 2 hours. So let ‘s start with the actual cake ingredients.
• 1 lb of ground beef (chuck-it is important)
• 1 lb of other ground meat (I used turkey but you can use pork or lamb just avoid the fatty meats)
• 1 green bell pepper
• 1 orange/yellow/red bell peper
• 1 large onion
• 1 small bag of snack baby carrots or a large carrot
• 1 tsp of pepper
• 1 tbsp of salt
• 4 cups of bread-crumbs.
• 2 tbsp of italian herb seasoning (dried, oregano, basil, rosemary)
• Instead of the last two you can use directly seasoned bread-crumbs.
• 1 large egg
Start with chopping the vegetation, finely with a knife or a food processor. In a large ball add the veggies and the bread-crumbs with the rest of the seasoning. Add the ground beef and the other meat (turkey in my case) and mix. Mix by folding and not squeezing the mix. You want a nice texture and a light “cake”, not something very dense and solid. If you have used all chuck the fat would melt away, leaving behind a very nice, but fragile and crumbly texture, tasty but not very easy to work with. So turkey or pork will do just fine, giving some more rigidity and firmness to the meatloaf. At the end add the egg, the binder that will hold everything together. Now we proceed with the unorthodox part of the process. We divide the mixture in two equal parts (you can eye ball it, it is not that critical). We take a nine inch cake pan we brush it with vegetable oil and put half of the mix in there. Then we take a baking pan and we put it on top and flip it over, to get the cake out of the cake pan onto the baking dish shaped as a large burger patty. You might need to slam it to get it out, and if it breaks, just reshape it with your hands. Repeat the process for the rest of the dough*(?) and you will have two nice big burger patties on a baking pan. In case you don ‘t have a round cake pan use your hands to shape it round (or any other shape you want). The advantage of the process is that will give room to the fat to go and leave a leaner meat behind, and exposing the surface it will help us make a nice glaze that will caramelize. More on that later.
As Alton Brown said: “…temperature control is critical and will make the difference between a juice and fluffy meatloaf and a grainy dry meatloaf.” So we start at 300 F to 325 F. This will give the adequate amount of time for the proteins to cook without tangling and binding together pushing out all the fat and moisture. So the time the meatloaf is baking it is time to work to that glaze.
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 2 dashes (or more of your favorite hot sauce
- 1 tsp of cumin (or curry powder)
- 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce
- 4 squeezes of honey
Mix all together, save about 1/3 of the mixture, and with a brush, brush it on the top and sides of the two meatloafs while in the oven 15 min after you start the coking. Do not make a thick layer, it will never caramelize and the layers will slide past each other when we stuck them together. (more on that later). When the internal telmerature heats 160 F (because of the turkey salmonellae and yucky stuff) remove and let cool.
While it is baking it is time to make the icing. It is a simple mashed potatoes icing. Start by pealing and cutting 1 lb of Yukon gold potatoes. Add them in a pot with cold water and salt and boil. It takes about 20 min to cook. They will be fork tender when done. Drain of the water and in the same pot add half a stick of butter and half a cup of whipping cream. Mashed the potatoes and make them as smooth as you can. Take a cup of the potatoes and mix in the glaze you kept from the previous paragraph. If it is not to thick add some bread crumbs to thicken it up. This would be our filling. Take on of the meatloafs and place it in the center of a large serving dish. Add the filling and then top it of with the other meatloaf. This is expected to squeeze out some of the filling, don ‘t worry just collect it and enjoy eating it. Let the mashed potatoes cool a good bit and then just ice your cake with it. And you are done!!! I used some cherry tomatoes for garnish.
I wasn ‘t waiting enough to cool the mashed potatoes so I made a messy but a darn tasting icing. And it was a ground pleaser. If you are a vegetarian as my friend “troubles” then just use veggie patties instead of the meatloaf.
*That make the doughnuts meat balls…
Happy birthday Kathryn!!!