Today is our 9th wedding anniversary - and our first anniversary since our first child was born! Since going out takes a bit more planning than it used to, I thought I'd whip up a special at-home dinner instead. Here's a fun take on a celebratory dinner!
Step 1: You Will Need ...
To assemble the anniversary meat cake you'll need:
A meatloaf, made into a cake shape
Mashed potatoes or cauliflower for "frosting"
Bacon roses for garnish
And of course all the sundry kitchen things for making said items.
Step 2: Bacon Roses
I used the Bacon Rose 'ible by kaptaink_cg for the base recipe for the roses. I used the rack cooking technique in the ThreadBangerDIY Valentines Bacon Roses video (warning, a fair amount of profanity).
Once they were cooled, I pulled out the toothpicks and set the roses aside in a sealed container until I was ready to use them.
Step 3: Make Your "icing"
I had a head of cauliflower I needed to use, but really anything you could steam and then mash/purée should work fine. I really wanted to ensure my puree was pretty smooth so I added 2 minutes to the recommended steam time from the book that came with my steamer. I added a pinch of sea salt, and a little of the water in the steamer tray to the blender when I puréed it.
Once this had cooled, I put in a sealed container in the fridge to firm up for "frosting" the cake.
Step 4: Take a Break
Also known as nap time for baby E. A happy baby is a less underfoot baby ;)
Step 5: Prepare the "cake"!
As far as I can tell, you should be able to use any meatloaf recipe you like, so long as you can cook it in a cake shape. I generally use this recipe from Allrecipes.com as my base recipe. My big difference is I generally round up to 2 pounds of ground meat, and I sometimes add cheese to the mix. In the case of this cake, I omitted the ketchup mixture to make it easier to apply the cauliflower, and instead added a little ketchup and horseradish to the meat mix for some extra flavor.
Now, when I looked at my cooled roses I was not sure they had cooked through in 40 minutes, so when the meatloaf was about 2/3 done I took it out and set the roses on top. I figure it'll boost the doneness of the roses and add a hit of flavor and moisture to the top of the meatloaf as it finishes cooking.
Step 6: Assemble!
When the meatloaf is done, take it out of the oven. I opted to flip mine over so I could "frost" the sides and also to help it not be too greasy when served. I embellished with a piped sentiment in festive ketchup, and finished with the bacon roses.
Hope this inspires some fun in your celebratory futures!