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a meatloaf that looks like a cake... help please :)

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I have a friend having a birthday who doesn't really eat desserts because he gets too hyper from the sugar (I don't understand it either)... Anyway, he's more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy -- so I was thinking of making a round meatloaf showered in white cheeses to look like a cake (iced in vanilla).

Any thoughts on how to make this worthwhile? What kind of cheese to use? Good meatloaf recipes?

Or if you think this is a ridiculous, horrible idea, please feel free to say so and/or suggest something completely different. I trust you, chowhounds.

Thanks in advance!

(P.S. Last week's advice was excellent -- my lemony creamy raspberry cake was very well received!)

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  1. No great advice, except to say I think it's a good idea. You could "ice" it with mashed potatoes, instead of cheese. I once had a recipe that involved a can of cranberries on the bottom of a meatloaf (cooked in a loaf pan) which makes me think that you could make two round layers, and put something red in between (cranberries or something with tomatoes) and then ice it with cheese or potatoes (cheese would make it too rich for me, but that could easily just be me, I don't like melted cheese on lots of things that other people adore it on). Okay, probably overboard, a layer cake meatloaf. Still, I say, go for it. (Now I am fantasizing about carrots carved to look like florets instead of marzipan flowers... and I haven't even been drinking.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Anne H

      I think that is a good idea about the mashed potatos. It will look much more frosting-like than melted cheese, which gets so shiny and flat. You could also "ice" Happy Birthday on the meatloaf with ketchup, or a barbeque sauce mixture.

    2. He will have a very Happy Birthday indeed if you serve him the MEATLOAF BIRTHDAY CAKE.

      Make your favorite meatloaf recipe and bake in a pyrex pie plate. 1/2 hour before it is done, "frost" with mashed potatoes. It is especially pretty piped out of a bag with an icing tube. Dust with cheese. Turn up the heat the last few minutes to brown the icing peaks. Place a ring of cherry tomatoes on top with a birthday candle in each one. My Mom used to make this for special birthdays.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fleur

        Or get some soft garlic cheese to melt in the mashed potatos.

      2. Sounds like a great idea!

        Martha Stewart just did this tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman.

        Can't provide any hints though, by the time I switched over she was "frosting" it with mashed potatoes.

        It looked like a two layer meatloaf baked in round cake pans, with mashed potato frosting, and she used peas and carrot bits to decorate the cake.

        And in true Martha fashion, she even broke out the pastry bag and tips to pip extra potatoes around the edges.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SizzlingJoe

          Weirdly, I was just looking at Martha's website trying to think of something to cook this weekend, and there was the single most repulsive thing I've ever seen on her website.

          But you know, horses for courses, and it certainly appears to fill the bill

          Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

        2. Agree it's a cute idea and mashed potatoes are the way to go for "frosting". Here's a link to a thread with some great-sounding meatloaf recipes.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. My kids love having this for their birthday. I make meatloaf in a round springform pan, frost with mashed potatoes, write happy birthday [kid's name] with ketchup and put tall carrot sticks around the "cake" for candles.

            1. Please find the url for Martha's Meatloaf Cake attached; really cute idea!

              Link: http://marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?t...

              1. If you make two layers, you could use a bunch of honey cooked julianned carrots between the layers. That's not "over the top" is it?

                1. h
                  Hungry Celeste

                  I have to weigh in for the other side; yuck. Make a nice meatloaf that isn't trying to be something else...just 'cause Martha does it, doesn't make it okay!

                  1. Here is our family's meatloaf recipe. It gets great reviews from everyone who eats it, and there's never any left over

                    1lb ground chuck
                    1 egg
                    1 onion, chopped
                    1T parsley
                    1/4 cup bread crumbs
                    1/4 cup ketchup
                    1T worcester sauce
                    Salt and pepper

                    Coat your pyrex loaf pan with butter. mix all ingredients, bake in pan at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

                    I tweak this a bit by using more worcester sauce, maybe a bit of hot sauce, etc. You can play around a little with it.

                    I think a round pan is better suited to your purposes, and I love the idea of the mashed potatoes as frosting. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

                    1. I had a lovely coworker who did a similar thing for me - only she made a tray of mashed potatoes ! I was touched. Whatever you decide, that's a nice thing to do.

                      You could also think about maybe something like a spinach pie....? kind of phyllo-y and special seeming?

                      1. ....how nice you are to do something special for your friend like this! The photo of Martha's 'cake' looks great! Maybe use roasted red bells as a filling between layers, or if he likes hot stuff, chili stuffed olives to hold the candles on top?

                        have fun!

                        1. If I were at home now I could spend a lot of time looking for the cookbook but ...

                          "Cucina Fresca" by Evan Kleiman and Viana La Place has a recipe for a potato-cheese-sausage concoction layered with "filling" of tomato sauce that your friend might like. It's not meatloaf and it won't look as slick/cakelike as the Martha Stewart job, but it is very good. It's baked in a springform pan.

                          1. Well I did it and it was delicious -- thank you everyone for your advice! I wound up using mashed potatoes mixed with ricotta as the icing, string beans as the filling, and a made-up meatloaf recipe below, which I based on the fact that the birthday boy's girlfriend told me she's never liked meatloaf but loves meatballs (I assumed this meant to use Italian flavors).

                            It was the meatiest cake I've ever made.

                            3 pounds ground beef
                            3/4 cup skim milk with 1 cup bread crumbs soaking in it
                            1 ½ cups cooked and cooled polenta
                            15 oz finely grated pecorino Romano
                            2 eggs
                            A good sprinkling each of dry garlic salt, basil and oregano
                            14 oz diced tomatoes
                            butter for greasing

                            All just mixed up together by hand, and baked in two separate pans at 400 for a little over half an hour.

                            Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mishky/1...