December 1, 2014

When Karen and I work in the Candy Lab, we’re surrounded by candy ALL DAY LONG. And, believe me, sometimes it’s hard to keep ourselves from eating all our decorating ingredients.

So in order to balance our diet—and keep our palettes alert—we make sure there are lots of salty, savory treats around—pretzels, pickles, etc. And over the years, I couldn’t help but notice which ones were Karen’s favorites.

So when her birthday rolled around, I thought it would be a fun surprise to create a birthday treat out of all her favorite SAVORY snacks. You might call it our first “HELLO, PRETZEL” cake!

karen with cake

Here’s what I did to make it. It was a SUSPENSE-FILLED project, because I had no idea if it would all work out:

First, for the bottom crust, I took a cup of CRUSHED PRETZELS and added 3 tablespoons of BUTTER and an EGG WHITE.

I mixed them together and pressed the mixture into the bottom of a greased soufflé dish. I baked the crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then pulled it out to cool.

For the “cake,” I blended three 8 ounce packages of CREAM CHEESE, 1/2 cup SOUR CREAM, 3 tablespoons of CORN STARCH, a pinch of SALT and 2 beaten EGGS.

Next I added bits of Karen’s favorite snacks: PIMENTOS, CAPER BERRIES, SALTED PUMPKIN SEEDS, and even ANCHOVY STUFFED OLIVES. Lastly—with a BAM!—I added her secret passion: SPAM!!

I lined the sides of the soufflé dish with strips of oiled parchment. Then I poured the cream cheese mixture into the dish and baked the cake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Lo and behold, the whole crazy concoction worked!!

Once it cooled, it slid right out of the soufflé dish! It looked like a cake!! And it tasted great too!!!

So Happy Birthday, Karen!! Here’s to many more sweet—and savory—moments!

Your pal and partner,


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