Okay, so burgers are possibly one of my favorite foods. It’s horrible for you blah blah blah. Oh, and if you are a vegetarian, no excuse. I have eaten some delectable non-meat ones too. You just might have to put a little more effort into finding a good veggie burger, but they are out there. I actually once made a mean cheese-stuffed veggie burger for my former roomie, Kelly. No excuses.
See, Jimmy Buffett and I are boys (he just doesn’t know it yet). He loves cheeseburgers like me.
If you are not a parrothead, then one of Jimmy Buffet’s most popular songs is called “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
Apparently, “According to Buffett’s Margaritaville web site, the myth of the “cheeseburger in paradise” was inspired by a boat journey Buffett once took in the Caribbean. Buffett states that while subsisting on canned food and peanut butter, he envisioned eating a “piping hot cheeseburger”. He reports that upon finally arriving in Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, he was surprised to find a restaurant serving American cheeseburgers:
- …we gave particular instructions to the waiter on how we wanted them cooked and what we wanted on them — to which little attention was paid. It didn’t matter. The overdone burgers on the burned, toasted buns tasted like manna from heaven, for they were the realization of my fantasy burgers on the trip”
- Source:Wikipedia (I know I’m so lazy to rely on Wikipedia)
He eventually ended up opening up a slew of chain restaurants named, Cheeseburger in Paradise (duh).
Haven’t heard the song? Oh well I chose the most cheesetastic video of the song. Press play for your viewing/listening pleasure.
Cheesy. Literally, and figuratively speaking.
Some people really do have cheeseburgers on their mind.
The world would be a better place with more cheeseburgers.
Like, if we could all sleep in cheeseburgers, road rage would cease to exist. I swear.
If we wore cheeseburgers, nobody would cut lines anymore.
And not just people… Dogs too.
Have you ever seen those little booties that evil owners force onto their doggies?
(press on the image to play)
That poor thing (okay, I am laughing a little bit on the inside. maybe laughing a lot on the outside too).
Mean, just mean.
The only suitable garment of clothes to dress your pet in is a sports jersey- not allowed to be pink (okay this totally makes me a hypocrite).
For shoes, however, I would say this is a win-win for both owner and (wo)man’s best friend.
Did you read my post about turtles? Well, in case you missed it turtles are the cat’s meow. They are so cool.
So when I saw this, my brain exploded. Turtle cheeseburger fusion.
When I die and go to heaven, this will be my pet.
Burger babies are pretty cool too.
Be careful, not all cheeseburgers are amazing. Fast food burgers are just cheeseburgers gone wrong.
Sometimes, when you have too much power you become corrupt and twisted.
Case in point: the Burger King.
He sort of lost it after the fame got to his head.
Things went very awry after those photos of him popped up on the internet.
He soon thereafter checked into rehab for “emotional issues.”
So as long as you don’t let it get to your head, cheeseburgers are a beautiful thing. That is why I decided to make it into a cake. I think Jimmy would appreciate that.
The cheeseburger cake has been popular for a while now. You peeps deserve a nifty tutorial. The best part is there is NO FONDANT!! You know? That stuff draped all over wedding cakes? It sure looks nice but it doesn’t taste as great. So NO FONDANT in this tutorial.
Here is what you need for the “cheeseburger in paradise” cake:
For the cake burger and buns,
-two large yellow cakes baked in a round pan (usually a cake recipe is meant to two round 8 or 9 inch pans. I actually filled most of an entire batch of cake batter into only one pan to make them large. You do not have to do this, though. You can always just split one batch between two round pans)
- one large brownie or dark chocolate cake recipe baked in a round pan (you can use my chocolate brownie fudge cake recipe by clicking here, just bake it until you insert a toothpick and it comes out with some bits of cake sticking. You want it moist. I quadrupled my recipe, because that recipe is not meant for a full cake, you can just double the recipe if you like)
For the cookietomato and sesame seeds,
-sugar cookie dough (I made mine from scratch, but you can always buy a mix or pre-made dough if you must)
-red food coloring
For the chocolate plastic lettuce,
- 2 cups of chopped white chocolate baking bars
- 1/2 cup of light corn syrup (both of these can be found in the baking aisle)
- green candy or chocolate food coloring (this can be purchased n many arts & crafts stores, baking supply stores, or online. REGULAR FOOD COLORING WILL NOT WORK!! It will not mix with chocolate.)
-optional: cabbage (you do not need this, I found it useful in shaping my leaves but this is totally up to you)
For the marshmallow cheese,
- 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin (from about 1 1/2 – 2 packets)
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup of corn syrup
- 1/2 cup of hot water
- 1/3 of a cup of water
- orange food coloring
-optional: about 1-2 teaspoons of any food flavoring such as vanilla
For the cream cheese frosting ketchup & mustard,
- 1 package of cream cheese (about 4 ounces, I believe)
- 1 cup of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar (if it is not sweet enough for you once you mix it, then add some more. I feel that there is PLENTY of sugar in the recipe and would personally use even less than 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
-milk (I begin with 1 teaspoon, then check thickness and add more if necessary)
- red and yellow food coloring
This recipe has several steps, so I would begin by making the cheese (which is a marshmallow), making the cookie dough, and creating the chocolate plastic (for lettuce leaves) in advance.
Begin by creating the marshmallow for the orange cheese slices. It will taste a lot better than fondant, trust me.
TO MAKE THE MARSHMALLOW FOR THE CHEESE
PREMEASURE AND SET EVERYTHING UP! Making marshmallows is not difficult, but it does require timing and steps.
1. Pour the 1/3 cup of water onto the gelatin in a bowl. It should turn into a nasty, rubbery blob.
2. Add corn syrup, hot water, and sugar into a saucepan. Clip on a candy thermometer (can be found in some grocery stores that have kitchen supplies, or places like Bed Bath & Beyond)
3. Pour egg whites into mixer bowl. Place orange food coloring, a spatula, a small bowl, and paper towel near to the mixer.
4. On a nearby counter, set up a baking sheet by lining it with wax paper. Coat the wax paper in butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray. Rip another sheet of wax paper and grease that as well. I also have a spatula (you can use the same one by the mixer, you just need to wipe it) sitting by.
Turn the heat on medium to low and allow sugar to dissolve.
While the sugar is dissolving, beat egg whites on high until they become fluffy and form a peak when you pull the whisk out of it.
Should look like this.
Use the spatula to scoop the egg whites into the bowl nearby. Use a paper towel to wipe down and clean the inside of the bowl.
Then scoop (or plop) the dissolved gelatin into the mixing bowl.
Place bowl back onto mixer, then turn the stove up to medium-high.
Should come to a boil.
Once the heat reaches 245 degrees, remove from the stove immediately.
Handle with an oven mit or thick kitchen towel.
Turn mixer on medium. The gelatin will be in there if you followed instructions so far.
SLOWLY pour the hot sugar into the bowl. You don’t want to burn or over heat the gelatin, so pour some in little by little.
Add the egg whites and allow it to mix in.
…and add some orange food coloring. I probably added about 8 small drops (little by little).
Quickly take bowl over to lined baking sheet. Spray or coat you spatula with vegetable oil.
Use it to scoop out marshmallow onto baking sheet.
Spread it around, then place other wax sheet on top.
Use your hands to flatten out and even out the marshmallow. You want it as an even, flat sheet.
Allow it to dry and firm overnight.
TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE PLASTIC
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. If you are not sure how to do that, you can see more detailed instructions in another recipe post, here.
Once it is creamy and smooth, you want to add the corn syrup and knead together.
Then, add some coloring and knead in.
It will be icky and sticky, but no biggie for the final product. You could always use fondant instead, but I think this tastes better and has a better texture.
Eventually, once you roll it into a ball and cover it with plastic wrap it will look like this:
FOR THE TOMATO AND SESAME SEED COOKIES
Roll out your cookie dough, and either use a cookie cutter shaped like a mini tear drop (comes in those mini cookie cutter sets) or you could hand cut (you can also print out a template of a tear drop and use a very small knife to cut them).
Pop into the fridge to harden and chill through (at least an hour or two, but I just leave it overnight).
Take te rest of the cookie dough and knead in some red food coloring.
Roll out the red dough.
Using cookie cutter, free hand cutting, or print out a circle to use as a template, and cut about 5 large circles.
Pop into fridge for a couple of hours.
Take it out and use a knife to cut the holes in the tomatoes.
Sort of looks like ugly horseshoes.
Pop back into the fridge for as long as possible.
Then, pop the cookies into the oven at 350 degrees. The tomatoes took about 10 minutes, the seeds about 6 minutes.
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, OR KETCHUP & MUSTARD
Get out your cream cheese frosting ingredients.
Mix the cream cheese (should be softened) and butter (also softened).
Add vanilla and then add the sugar, little by little until it tastes slightly sweet.
Remember there is a lot going on with the cake so you don’t need that much sugar.
I like to add a few teaspoons up to a tablespoon of milk, but in this case proceed with caution.
It makes it creamy and velvety, but also softer.
If the cake is being served in hot weather, then it will be more likely to melt.
Scoop out half of the frosting. Dye one part yellow, then remove from bowl.
Return the other part and mix in red food coloring.
Scoop both into separate bowls and store in fridge to firm up a bit.
TO CONSTRUCT THE BURGER
Take the chocolate plastic, and spray or coat a cabbage leaf with vegetable oil. Press a piece against the leaf to create veins. I used the end of a paintbrush (or the edge of a spatula) to deepen the veins.
You don’t need to use cabbage. You can just coat your hands in vegetable oil and then mold it into leaf shapes.
I then placed on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet that was greased, and placed in fridge to firm up a bit.
Bake your yellow cakes,
…and your brownie or chocolate cake. Mine was a little too large, but that’s okay.
Then, use a sharp knife (serrated, if possible) to cut one or two squares. I used the bottom of the cake pan to judge it’s sizing.
Then I found a large, square platter to cut straight lines.
Once the cakes were cooled, I used a large serrated knife to shave around the tops and side.
This is totally optional, and they will look just fine as is.
I began by placing the bottom bun, then one slice of cheese on top.
Then, I Place the burger, and another slice of cheese.
Next, I added the tomatoes and the lettuce.
You can either cut the corner of a ziploc bag, or use a piping bag with a tip for cupcakes (mine is very large) and pipe out the mustard, and ketchup around the edge.
Note: Don’t drape the frosting as much down the sides if it will be going into hot weather. It will melt and drip. Just pile it near the sides, and once you press the top bun it should bulge out a little. Also, you might want to add some of the frosting below the bun too so all cakes have a little frosting.
For the top bun, I used white chocolate melted in the microwave to “glue” the sesame see cookies on.
Frosting would work too.
I love it when food looks like something else. This works for tailgates, burger lovers, birthdays, parties, and cookouts. Heck, I would much rather get this for Valentine’s day than a bunch of stinky flowers.
“Not too particular, not too precise.
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise.”
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