Tuesday

Hamburger Birthday Cake

Last month, my friend Rupert turned 30. It was a big celebration - full of delicious food, a cocktail bar in the back garden, a continuous game of bar billiards and dancing until the sun came up.

Honestly, cake anytime is good but, when it's your birthday it's even better. 

I decided to surprise Rupert with one that I'd seen pop up a few times on the Internet. With the help of my lovely friend Kirsten, we set to work baking and decorating a cake that would mess with peoples heads but also be good enough to eat.

I think we did quite well. So I've decided to share the recipe and ideas behind it all.

To make the 'Bun' I used the queen of baking, Mary Berry's Victoria Sponge recipe. I doubled each ingredient so each bun was 'fatter'. No one likes a skinny burger bun.

You will need:
450g unsalted butter, softened
450g caster sugar
8 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
450g self-raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons of milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line your baking tins with baking paper (2 x 20.5cm tins)
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Put the soft butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer for a minute until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the vanilla and beat lightly with a fork. Slowly add to the creamed mixture (tablespoon at a time), giving it a good beating each time. If it looks like it's about to curdle, add a tablespoon of the sifted flour and then continue to add the last of your eggs.

Sift the flour again, this time into the mixture and add the milk. Gently fold through the flour into the mixture with a metal spoon. Stop folding when there are no streaks visible in the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the tins so they are equally filled. Spread evenly, right to the edges. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and the sponges are springy when you gently press them with your fingertips. 
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Remove the tins from the oven and leave for a minute before taking them out the tins. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the 'patties' I relied on Mrs Crocker and her magic boxes of cake mixes. Her chocolate brownie one is great if you just don't have the time to bake from scratch. I usually make my brownies from scratch but, time was ticking and there were BBQ ribs to be eaten at the party.

and nothing is getting in the way of me and meat.

You can buy the chocolate brownie mix from all supermarkets in the UK. I used two boxes and made two brownies as I was going for a double cheeseburger look. Make sure you allow the brownies to completely cool before you start the fun part.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Now, for the decorating. 

You will need:
1 block of yellow fondant icing
1 block of green fondant icing 
Red food colouring
Butter 
Icing sugar
Milk

I always head to Lakeland to buy bits for decorating cakes. They have a great selection online and in store. 

Roll out the yellow fondant icing and cut into squares. This is going to be your cheese. Do the same with the green fondant icing but, use a medium-sized crinkled, biscuit cutter and cut some shapes out. These will be your pieces of lettuce.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
See, I told you it was fun! 

Grab one of your sponges and place on the surface you are going to use for the base. Make up some buttercream (butter, milk and icing sugar). Spoon some onto the centre of the sponge and spread out so it covers the whole cake. Add some of your lettuce leaves to the edge of the sponge and then place one of the brownie patties on top, ensuring the lettuce is visible around the edges. Add more of the buttercream on to the brownie and place the second brownie on top.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Now, you should have one sponge left. Before placing this on, add the 'cheese' slices and remaining 'lettuce leaves' to the brownie patty. Spoon some more buttercream mix on to the brownie and place the sponge on top. With the leftover buttercream, add some red food colouring to it, making sure it looks like tomato ketchup. Add a large dollop of it to the center of the brownie. If you have any leftover, you can put it in a piping bag and decorate like we did.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
To make it look more like a burger, we decided to glaze the top of it and sprinkle some sesame seeds over. To make the glaze, spoon a teaspoon of coffee granules into a mug and add a small amount of icing sugar. Mix with a spoon and using a brush, gently apply the glaze to the top of the cake, sprinkling sesame seeds on before it dries.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Et, Voila!

Now, no hamburger would be complete without fries. I decided that making a batch of sugar cookies were the best way forward.

You will need:
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
275g plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Gradually add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until mixed in. Stir in the flour until the mixture forms into a dough.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into thin strips with a knife. Bake on a lined baking tray for 8-10 minutes.
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
The finished piece!
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
The birthday boy loved and it took a while for people to get their heads around it!

Job, done x


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