Mickey’licious treats

Amrita Prasad
Thursday, 15 November 2018

As Mickey Mouse turns 90 this Sunday, city-based chefs create something interesting to pay a tribute to one of our most favourite cartoon characters

Old or young, grandparent or toddler, we all have a special bond with Mickey Mouse. Our love for this happy, adorable, enthusiastic mouse never wanes. Walt Disney, legendary cartoonist, animator and filmmaker and the creator of Mickey Mouse once said, “When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it’s because he’s so human; and that is the secret of his popularity,” and we can’t agree with him more. It is actually his human-like smile, his sense of humour, his compassion for friends and others, his boundless imagination, his romantic heart or his timeless sense of style, Mickey has been and will forever remain a symbol of our childhood.

Our favourite mouse is turning 90 this Sunday (November 18) and what better way to celebrate this milestone year than create some mouthwatering dishes inspired by Mickey himself — his iconic ears, his eyes, his nose and not to forget his quintessential red and black outfit. While Instagram is flooded with pictures of Mickey Mouse Oreo Cookies, Mickey Mouse Fruit Salad using apples, kiwi, cheese and berries, Mickey Cupcakes, Mickey Cake Balls etc tempting you to try your hand at that, we suggest you take some expert opinion while creating the dishes to celebrate Mickey’s birthday. 

ASIAN MICKEY
Mickey-shaped cookies and cakes are quite popular, but have you ever wondered how to make Mickey Mouse Sushi? Balan Prabhu, Japanese speciality chef, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Chakan, gives you a few tips. “Being a Japanese chef and a big Mickey Mouse fan, I thought of doing something innovative and different with Sushi. The cartoon character and the cuisine, both are my favourites, and are art forms. This unique creation will certainly be adored by diners, especially the small ones. The traditional form of Sushi is fermented fish and rice, preserved in salt in a process that has been traced to Southeast Asia, where it remains popular. The term Sushi means ‘it’s sour’, a reflection of its historic fermented roots,” says Prabhu. 

To prepare Mickey Mouse Sushi, you need Sushi rice, Sushi vinegar, salt, sugar, tuna, umeboshi (plum fruit), nori sheet, boiled eggs, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Explaining how he carved Mickey out of Sushi, Prabhu says, “Sushi rice has been used to form the base structure of Mickey Mouse’s face, nori sheet is used to add contrast to the ears on the upper side and eyebrows. Boiled egg has been used to design the eyes with umeboshi (plum fruit) as the pupil. The bow is made with tuna and the coat with nori sheet and wasabi as the button. Pickled ginger is used as garnish.”  

CUTEST BRUSCHETTA
Marriott Suites Pune is paying a tribute to this iconic character through a simple dish — Bruschetta made with bread, tomatoes, olives and basil. Vinay Pathak, sous chef, Marriott Suites Pune, Koregaon Park, shares the recipe: 

Ingredients
- Toasted/ grilled bread. - 2 slices 
- Fresh tomatoes, medium-size and chopped     - 2 
- Black olives, chopped - 20 gm
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Basil leaves, finely chopped - 2/3 
- Olive oil as required
- Parmesan cheese as required

Method
- Mix the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  
- Cut the bread slices in the shape of Mickey’s face. 
- Top the bread slices with the tomato mixture. 
- Cut the bread sliver in the shape of Mickey’s ears. Top them with chopped olives. 
- Garnish with finely chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.

CUT THE CAKE
Well, Mickey Mouse cakes are too common and easily available at bakeries, however, the fun and charm of baking a Mickey-shaped cake is unparalleled. Siddhartha Sankar Sarmah, executive sous chef, Novotel Pune, Nagar Road, has created Mickey Mouse Cream and Fondant Cake. Sounds tempting? “Fondant cakes are fun and easy to make. A cream and fondant Mickey Mouse cake is a perfect treat for a Mickey fan and will surely bring a smile to his face,” says Sarmah adding, “On the occasion of Mickey’s 90th birthday, we thought of surprising Mickey Mouse fans by introducing this delicious cake.” Here’s how you can make it: 

Ingredients
For the sponge cake
- White sugar...... - 1 cup
- Butter........ - 1/2 cup
- Eggs.......  - .2 
- Vanilla extract.... - 2 tsp
- All-purpose flour........ - 1 1/2 cups 
- Baking powder............ - 1 3/4 tsp 
- Milk....... - 1/2 cup 

FOR THE FONDANT
- Packaged unflavoured gelatin.... - 0.25 oz or 2 tsp 
- Cold water.......... - 1/4 cup 
- Glucose syrup or corn syrup........ - 1/2 cup 
- Glycerin - .......1 tbsp
- Shortening or butter.......... - 2 tbsp (1oz/ 30g)
- Vanilla extract....... - 1 tsp
- Confectioners’ sugar, sifted..........    8 cups 

Method
FOR THE SPONGE CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, and line them with circles cut from parchment paper.
- Place the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir on low speed to combine.
- Add the butter, mixing on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (about 1 min).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure that all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add the milk, and vanilla extract.
- Mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 min, to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
- Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 40 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool completely before filling and frosting.

FOR THE FONDANT
- Combine gelatin and cold water; let it stand until thick. Place gelatin mixture in the top of a double boiler and heat until dissolved.
- Add glucose and glycerin, mix well. Stir in shortening and just before completely melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. The mixture should cool until lukewarm.
- Place 4 cups confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and using a wooden spoon, stir in the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Mix in sugar, add little at a time, until stickiness disappears. 
- Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). 
- Put Mickey Mouse shaped fondant cake topper on top of the cake. 

Note: Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in the fridge. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and knead again until soft.

THE GREEN DELIGHT
“If you make this awesome Guacamole Mickey Mouse Sandwich for your kids, you will love the smiles on their face!” says city-based home chef Shrunkhala Sharma. She has created this sandwich for Mickey’s birthday treat. Well, many of us may have already had a Mickey Mouse-shaped sandwich in our school lunchbox; our mums may have created them using bread cutters. You can create similar sandwiches and recreate childhood memories. You can customise them with fillings and use brown bread too! Sharma shares the recipe here:  

Ingredients
- Brown bread - 3 slices
- Cheese (for the face ) - 1 slice
- Grapes for the eyes  
- Tomato (for the mouth ) - .1
- Some butter 
- Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled - 3  
- Lime, juiced     1 
- Salt - 1/2 tsp 
- Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp 
- Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
- Medium-sized onion, diced - 1/2 pc
- Jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced - 1/2 pc
- Tomatoes, seeded and diced - 2
- Cilantro, chopped  - 1 tbsp  
- Clove garlic, minced - 1 

Method
FOR THE GUACAMOLE SPREAD
- In a large bowl, put the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice and mix. Keep aside some lime juice.
- Using a potato masher, add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. 
- Add 1 tbsp of the reserved lime juice. Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

FOR THE SANDWICH
- Cut two rounds from the two slices of brown bread with the help of a cutter or a glass. 
- Apply butter on the inside of the slices. 
- Spread the guacamole spread. 
- Cut the cheese slices into round shapes. Put on top for the face of Mickey Mouse. 
- Cut the third brown bread slice to make the ears. 
- Place the grapes for the eyes. 
- Cut the tomato for the mouth.
- Serve it with salad or any side dish of your choice.

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