It’s @eatnik‘s birthday today. Happy birthday #fatty!!
For a few weeks, @jeroxie and I had been scheming and planning a birthday cake for her, as she’d been the kind purveyor of awesome birthday cakes for us both (a crazily rich milo cake upon my request, and an impressive Words with Friends cake for Penny) as well as a team effort with @meatnik to make a croquembouche – that shat all over any masterchef contestant’s – for @th0i3‘s 30th.
So whatever we came up with, it was going to have to be plucked from the clouds of awesome. Initially, we’d toyed with the idea of a rainbow cake. They seem to be a little en vogue of late, and the flavour possibilities seemed exciting. Then we though something a little more personalised might be a better idea. I floated the idea of a ‘pork belly’ cake, with layers of strawberry sponge meat and white chocolate mousse fat, topped with a bruleed layer of ‘crackling’. I still think I’ll get around to that one day. But when @eatnik announce last week that her birthday celebrations were going to be “burgers and beers” at Thousand Pound Bend, it was time for a cake rethink.
With a little research, and some very helpful advice given by professional cake decorator @sweet_libertine, the burger cake seemed feasible, and actually easier than the pork belly monstrosity we’d been dreaming up.
Now I didn’t take photos of the cake making process, but in essence, this is what the cake was composed of:
- an orange chiffon cake (for the top of the bun) – from Poh’s recipe, with extra orange essence for a super-charged zing)
- a chocolate pound cake (for the patty) – from a recipe sourced from @essjayeff, with added cocoa and Hershey’s chocolate syrup – props to @th0i3 for co-baking this with me!
- another variation on Poh’s chiffon cake, without the orange, but with hazelnut meal added (for the base of the bun).
This was also my first attempt at working with – and making my own – fondant icing. It’s kind of fun, but gets a little messy! I used this recipe, but found I needed to add a lot more icing sugar than they had suggested, partly because I was using liquid food colouring instead of gel colour.
Anyway, to assemble it, I created a skirt of fondant icing for the burger base. Given the amount of icing I was going to be using for everything else, I only wanted it around the edges, for presentation. There’s only so much sugar in a cake that even I can stand! That gooey stuff seeping out is a sour cream frosting that I was using as glue for the fondant.A thicker layer of the sour cream frosting went over that, to form the mayo, and then some ruffled green fondant for the lettuce.Once the lettuce layer was done, I added some atomic red fondant tomato slices. See that chocolate pound cake waiting patiently in the background? It’s up next!I shaved the top and parts of the edges off, so it woud be more of a patty shape.Then, following @sweet_libertine’s advice, I covered it all with ganache – made with Lindt dark Chilli Intense chocolate and sour cream – and glued bits of crumbled pound cake on top, to give it that rough burger mince look.The patty goes on, and I start getting excited about how well it’s all turning out.Of course, there’s a reason ‘I can haz cheezburger’ is a meme, and ‘I can haz burger’ is not. I made the fondant cheese Swiss because, well, it looked more obviously like cheese. There’s nothing subtle about a novelty burger cake OK, people?The trickiest part with the fondant was probably laying a huge sheet of it over the top of the bun. To do this, I rolled it out on a sheet of baking paper, then flipped it over onto the cake. Ad thankfully, it came off without a hitch! I don’t think I could really have tried it a second time without making more icing, because once it hits the frosting, the icing can’t really be moved or re-used. And yes, for those continuity geeks playing at home, yes, I did this bit before assembling the rest of the cake. It just seemed more logical to show you the process from bottom to top.Then I shaped some novelty sesame seeds out of white fondant, and glued them on using the sour cream frosting.
Place the top on, and voila! Novelty burger cake success!
Here’s a shot of how the cake looked on the inside. Try as I might, I couldn’t make it look like anything other than the mess you dread to clean up, with a hangover, the next morning after a big party.Happy birthday #fatty!