Recipe 17: Berserker Christmas Turkey Cake

YES…I know this recipe appears to be insane and truthfully it is not an original idea. I have seen recipes for this before and I even have one myself for a meatloaf cake. However, after reworking this recipe removing the unnecessary bits like marshmallows, I believe now it is perfected to the point of well…perfection. I think it works brilliantly and tastes great. I won’t lie, it is work pulling it together and nearly as time consuming as roasting a small turkey, but…the reaction on your family and friend’s faces when they expect you to bring a turkey to the table and instead out comes a cake is…priceless. Cake is attributed to the Vikings and wouldn’t they be proud to know that there are a few of us food berserkers who have gone that one step further and created an entire meat based meal in the form of their beloved “kaka”.  If there are any Vikings out there willing to taste test this recipe, please let me know and I’d be happy to oblige.

The word cake is of Viking origin, from the Old Norse word “kaka” (pronounced kay-kaa) and denotes a baked flour confection made with sugar or honey that is mixed with eggs and often, but not invariably, with milk and fat and achieves a porous texture from the mixture rising during cooking.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hour

Turkey Cake Layers:
3lb ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cake Filling:
1 large sweet potato
1 small turnip or rutabaga
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup of prepared cranberry (I prefer to make my own, recipe below)
11/2 cups sausage stuffing

Cake Frosting:
5 large potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Cranberry Sauce:
1 package fresh cranberries washed (set aside about 10 whole cranberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 water

Sausage Stuffing:
1/2 lb sausage meat
1/2 cup bread broken into chunks
1 small onion chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/tsp thyme
1/2 sage
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg

Gravy:
1 package or can of store bought turkey or chicken gravy

Decoration:
Fresh cracked black pepper
Garlic powder
Sea Salt
Fresh whole cranberries

Directions

Turkey Cake: Heat oven to 450 F. Place ground turkey, vegetables, bread crumbs and spices to large bowl. Mix gently with hands. Add egg and mix again until combined. Foil line 3 cake pans (9 inch round) making sure there is at least 1” overlap around the edges. Place turkey into pans in equal proportions. Pat down lightly to compress. Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Turkey should have a nice golden brown surface. Remove from oven and drain any liquid that may have accumulated during the cooking process. Set aside and allow to cool thoroughly. Once cool remove turkey cake layers by lifting foil from pan.

Filling: Peel and cube sweet potato and turnip. Boil together in a large pot with a teaspoon of brown sugar until soft. Remove from heat, drain and return to pot. Add butter and mash vegetables until creamy. Set aside.

Sausage Stuffing: Preheat oven to 400 F.  On stove top in a large skillet cook sausage meat until fat is rendered from meat. Meat should still be moist. Remove from heat and drain fat.  Rinse sausage meat under hot water. to remove excess fat and drain. Place into large bowl and combine with bread cubes, spices and egg.  Place stuffing into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Cranberry Layer: Wash cranberries, add to pot along with sugar and water. Cook until all cranberries burst and liquid cooks down. Set aside to cool.

Potato Frosting: Wash, peel and dice potatoes. Boil until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Return to pot, add butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste. Mash well, set aside.

Building the cake: Remove turkey cake layers from foil. Place bottom layer onto large round plate or cake platter. Spread 1/2 cranberry mixture across top of layer. Add sweet potato/turnip filling and spread. Place next cake layer on top and press lightly. Spread another layer of 1/2 cranberry mixture then add stuffing to this layer. Add last layer pressing into place lightly. Once layers are assembled, remove any overflow between layers with a knife gently following edges. Pressing to hard will cause edges to crumble. While mashed potatoes are still warm spread 1/2 over entire cake as you would frosting. Place remaining mashed potatoes into piping bag and with large nozzle decorate the top of cake with rosettes or stars depending on tip. Sprinkle top of cake with cracked black pepper, salt and decorate with whole cranberries as you would cherries. Slice, serve and ladle gravy over top.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

FOOTNOTE: This recipe was inspired by a meat cake I made for a client who wanted a masculine birthday cake for her husband who was a beef and bacon fan. To turn the Turkey Cake into a Meatloaf Cake swap out the ground turkey for ground beef, omit stuffing layer. Replace cranberry with BBQ sauce and the cranberries on top with crumbled bacon.

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