The Meat FAQ
I've had an awful lot of hits, over two million, and an awful lot of emails about this meaty monstrosity. So I figured I'd answer a few questions I've been getting a LOT.
1. Is that a uterus on top of the cake?
Erm...no. It's supposed to be a T-bone steak. I realize it looks wobbly. I'd never drawn a T-bone before. My next cake will have pretty flowers.
2. Do you serve this hot or cold?
Hot. Definitely hot. Meatloaf is only ever good cold in slices for sammiches. But the potatoes are gross cold. I stored the cake in the fridge and carved off slices, heating them in the microwave for a couple minutes when I wanted some meaty deliciousness.
3. You ripped this off from Martha Stewart.
That's not a question.
4. You totally ripped this off from Martha Stewart, didn't you?
That's a very rude and mean question, and I won't answer it until you are a little nicer to me.
5. Sorry. Did you realize that Martha Stewart did a birthday meatloaf?
I do now, yeah. But I didn't steal the idea from her. About a week after I submitted my page for the approval of the world wide web at large, I got a very nasty email, "Martha's was cuter." With a link.
So, apparently Martha did a meat cake, too. I never claimed mine was the only one, and in fact, after I put up the page, I checked out google for similar things, and found a couple hits. I'm not so vain as to think I'm the only one who ever did this ever in the history of ever, and any time anyone sent me an email about how incredibly original I was, I demurely told them that I was certain someone else out there had thought of it before. Something so amazing had to have occurred to someone before. Great minds think alike. Great minds being Martha Stewart and some bored college kids, I guess. I think I was maybe just the first one to document the entire process on the web, which got a lot of attention.
6. What kind of chef are you that you have to use fake potatoes?
The kind of chef who explained carefully why she chose to use potato flakes, if you were paying attention. In order to get real potatoes to frosting consistency, you have to not only beat the daylight out of them, but add in all kinds of cream and butter and things, which interferes with the stability. Though thanks to some emails about this, I've got a few nifty recipes for mashed potatoes. When I try this again, I'll give real potatoes a shot, but I've seen someone try this with real potatoes, and it looked grainy.
7. Do you have to use kosher salt?
No, I just use kosher salt when cooking. You don't have to. You don't even have to use cow.
8. It doesn't have to be cow?
Nope. Any kind of ground beast should do the trick. Use your favorite meat, or combination of meat, and use your own meatloaf recipe if you like. I'm not some meatatarian dictator, I'm just telling you how I built mine.
9. Did you realize Ebaum totally stole your images?
Yyyyyyyyep. Well aware. I've a longstanding hatred for that site, which exists solely to steal content from other people, mark it as their own, and profit from it. I don't mind when other people have posted my images on their blogs or sites or whatnot, but the sheer audacity to watermark it as your own and profit from the traffic boggles my mind. At least they could have linked here. I've politely requested that those images be removed, but I doubt they'll comply. They usually don't. Grr.
10. Are you going to write anything else?
Absolutely. I hope that this site will be not only my online baking portfolio, but a series of how-to instructions. I love to teach, and the more people who can profit from my $20,000 education, the better. So look for it. And if you have something you'd like me to show you, let me know.
11. I'm totally going to make this!
That's not a question, either, but I'll let it slide. Please DO make one! And send me a photo. It's my fondest hope to have an entire gallery of meat cakes here. Everyone is going to build theirs a little differently, and I want to see what you guys can do with it. Even if you think it looks crappy, send me a picture! A gellery of meatcakes! My god, it'll be glorious!
12. I hate meatloaf.
13. I'm just saying.
Well, if you're not asking anything, go away. This is a FAQ. Don't be a hard charger.
No problem. Just don't let it happen again.
15. How did you come up with this idea?
Well, I kind of told you that. Did you not read the page? Or were you just looking at the pretty pictures?
16. Just looking at the pictures.
That's what I thought. Go back and read it, then come back here if you actually have a question.
17. Okay, I have a question. Why do you hate on ketchup so much?
Because I overdosed on it as a kid. I ate it straight out of the packets at fast food restaurants, even. And then when I was about 14, I realized that foods have a flavor on their own, and those flavors are good. French fries are crispy and tasty, and do not need to serve as ketchup vehicle.
18. Where did you learn how to do this?
I learned cake decorating at Western Culinary Institute. I trained there in Baking and Patisserie, and am a certified pastry chef now. Though I've always made a mean meatloaf, and my schooling didn't teach me meat cake. I made that up.
19. Did the groom like it?
I never made it for the groom to be, it was a practice cake, to try the idea out. I've been asked already to do a meatcake for a wedding, but the couple haven't even set up a date yet, so I don't know when that will be.
20. How did it taste?
Like meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
21. I can't eat a whole meat cake, and six pounds is a lot of meat! What now?
Well, half the recipe and do two thin layers. Or make meat cupcakes. I like the idea of individual meatcakes.
22. What's the coolest email you've gotten so far?
I think that has to be the poem that someone wrote for me:
You look just like a sweetcake
But instead of sugar and raisins and things
There's a hunk of tasty cow within.
I also got an email proclaiming me a member of the Meat Elite, with the following logo:
That's so awesome my head nearly fell off. I'll link their site when they have one.
23. Dude, you're so awesome. (to another bulletin board user) This guy is a genius!
Thanks, but I'm a woman. And that's still not a question.
24. Were those truly the most frequently asked questions, or were they the questions you most felt like answering?
Well, until NOW, they were the most frequently asked.
FAQ didn't answer your question? Drop me a line: meatcake @ blackwidowbakery . com