I live in a third world country where a huge chunk of the workforce are below-minimum wage earners, but somehow some of us still manage to have birthday celebrations for our dogs. Don’t get me wrong here, we as a society are nothing like the Japanese who love their dogs so much, it just puts those damn Americans to shame. For liking dogs, I have had to put up with a lot of crap from my own family (among other personal differences). We are actually a dog-eating culture, especially in the northern parts of the country. Recently a movie ended up being controversial not by actors doing something stupid like they normally do for publicity, but for a brutal dog-killing scene. It turns out a real dog was killed, gutted and eaten, and the filmmakers lied about it to avoid getting disqualified from a film festival. Friends got unfriended and I imagine couples broke up over this issue. But the vast majority of people here are barbaric bastards and couldn’t care less if the same thing happened to their grandmothers.
I’m one of those people who would have paid to watch the movie, but who has now resolved to get ahold of a pirated copy so as not to support the maker of the film.
The cake pictured above is a Chicken Cheesecake for a dog named Chewy (whose hoomans Jin and Luna are among those upset by that movie.)
We were commissioned to make that cake for the pup, but Jin, the dog daddy, seemed to want a piece of it very badly. So we had to warn him that it was made specifically for dogs. We all know that most humans have a different taste palette from dogs, right? Plus we skipped some completely unnecessary ingredients, like baking soda. And salt. Like us, too much salt is bad for their kidneys. Anyway, the mommy informed us that none of them humans got to try the cake because their pets ate it all up.
We haven’t mastered the art of cake decorating, which is of course for the benefit of the doting dog parents–we know it’s the meeeeaty goodness that the pups are crazy about–but that’s actually what they pay us for. You can buy a burger (or a steak if you can afford it–which I can’t) and your dog will be perfectly happy with it.
When I made my first pet birthday cake, I gave out a few pieces to some of my dog’s friends, and they all liked it. The only instance that I know of, that a dog refused to eat one of my cakes, was a pug named Vayne, and she wasn’t feeling well at the time. Even my boyfriend said he liked it, but he has weird taste in food, so I don’t know if his opinion counts.
That first cake wasn’t very pretty and neither was the poster we put up to let people know that we got their pet’s birthdays covered, for a very reasonable price. I know we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of how fancy-looking our cakes are; I’ve heard of other, more expensive cakes made for pets made by more established shops, and those probably look better than ours. But, basically dogs and cats seem to enjoy our pet cakes, and they’re more affordable than others.
I think it’s awful that goods and services for pets are overpriced, like most veterinary clinics and grooming salons here where I live. It takes a human with a real love for pets to understand others who likewise love their furry friends. Despite family members urging me to charge a small fortune for my pet cakes, since the nearest competitor is two municipalities away, I just know in my heart that I can’t be greedy when it comes to helping others give their babies some love.
I’m even happy to help those who can’t buy from me. PHP300 converts to more or less $6, and for some that isn’t much but for many here that’s more than a whole day’s wages. So if you’re low on cash but huge on lovin’ your babies, why not DIY it?
Pet cakes are easy to make! Just google any recipe for a burger or meatball batter, skip the ingredients you don’t hae, add in ingredients your dog likes, put it in a cake pan and stick it in the oven. It’s pretty much just a huge patty, except that it’s shaped, decorated and packaged as a cake. Like most birthday cakes, about 90% of the effort goes into making it look awesome.
I have several recipes, and I’m sharing one of these with you, Chicken Cheesecake. A few ingredients need to be prepared beforehand, such as the chicken oil and chicken meat. It would be best to use fatty parts like the butt/thigh of the chicken. Just boil it for about 20 minutes and let it cool down for a bit. Skim the oil off of the top, and shred the meat.
Nikki’s Chicken Cake
For the cake
- 1/2 cup chicken oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded boiled chicken meat
- 1/2 cup flour
- Combine cake ingredients in a bowl.
- oil a small cake pan (I use a 4 and 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch pan) and cut some wax paper to fit the bottom. pour the batter up to about 1/2 of the pan. Cover with foil
- Stick it in the oven on low heat. No need to pre-heat, just let it sit there for about 30 minutes or do the toothpick test* to see if it’s done.
If you don’t have a cake pan, you can use an aluminum leche flan pan or a muffin pan. You can do this on a regular oven or a toaster oven, just keep an eye and adjust the cooking time. Using a muffin pan means it will cook faster; generally the more hot metal surface touching the batter, the faster it will cook.
Let the cake or muffins cool before decorating.
I’m doing separate posts on making icing and decoratig pet cakes, including an icing recipe that dogs can safely eat!