Ladies and Gentlemen, please let me introduce you to “The Marmite Guide To Better Cooking”; a 1969 culinary classic dedicated to the goopy brown loveliness that is Great Britain’s favourite yeast by-product based spread. Being the Marmite lover that I am I always appreciate a new recipe that makes the most of the versatile salty goodness of Marmite, so I dug straight in, looking for inspiration. I must admit I wasn’t expecting a birthday cake made from mashed salmon, hard boiled eggs, cream cheese and Marmite…
The following is the introduction to the recipe, word for word:
Children’s tastes have changed. Nowadays at parties they gravitate towards the savouries, leaving behind all the jellies, trifles and cakes that took so long to prepare. And the biggest white elephant of the lot is, more often than not, the traditional birthday cake itself! Although the children love to see it in the middle of the table and shriek with delight at the blowing-out-of-the-candles ceremony, how many actually eat it? Not many I suspect. So why not, for a change, make a savoury birthday cake? It can look just as pretty as a sweet one and at least there’s a fifty-fifty chance it’ll get eaten! But to make sure, I’d reverse the usual order of the tea by letting the birthday girl or boy do the candle bit first. They you can serve pieces of cake and let the children fill up on what they like afterwards!
I mean seriously. Who do they think they’re kidding? “Oh, kids love savoury nowadays”. “Make a savoury cake, and serve it up first”. And wait until you see the recipe….
To make the birthday cake, buy a small unsliced oblong sandwich load for an average party (10 to 15) children or a large load if you’ve got half the class coming! Leave the loaf for one day. Remove all the crusts then cut the loaf horizontally into 4 long slices. Spread 2 slices with butter and a thin layer of Marmite. Sandwich together with finely mashed canned salmon or tuna. Spread top of sandwich with more butter and Marmite then cover with chopped hard boiled eggs bound together with a little salad cream. Spread next slice of bread with butter and Marmite and stand on top of egg filling, buttered side down. Spread top of sandwich as before with butter and Marmite then cover with a layer of cream cheese coloured pale green with green food colouring. Spread last slice of bread with butter and Marmite and stand on top, with unbuttered side facing. You now have a loaf layered together with three different fillings. Stand on a bread board or platter and cover top and sides with cream cheese. To decorate, smooth top with a knife dipped in hot water and ridge the sides with prongs of a fork. Colour some more cream cheese green or pink and pipe a fancy border round top and lower edges. Write ‘Happy Birthday’ on top theninsert candles holders. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.
Read it again. Seriously. Just imagine yourself as the six year old recipient of such a monstrosity on your birthday.