Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mark of the Pizza Cake

What's not to love about horror films, pizza, and Thrash Metal? Sounds like an excellent Saturday night to me! Axeslasher are the embodiment of all three of these radical elements. And let's face it, front man Professor Pizza is a God amongst pizzaphiles.
The cover art on Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1 is by artist Ken Sarafin, and was inspired by comic book tales of farming the human race. It's an homage to Ed Repka, with a touch of Twilight Zone camp. It paints the perfect picture to go along with their songs that are mostly about characters in gory, horror stories. "Axeslasher" in particular is about a scorned Metalhead who comes back from the dead to avenge his death. Only heshers and Metal's loyal followers, are spared.

This record has all the elements of classic thrash, but it still feels like something new that I haven't quite heard before. I have to admit, I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop since I got it. It was the official soundtrack to all my holiday baking this year.

Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1 also contains a cover of Kraeyshawn's "Gucci Gucci." I'm not really into Hip-Hoppy songs (I'm a fan of a few like "Hypnotize" and "Big Pimpin'"), so I personally consider this to be a vast improvement over the original.
It's a great little EP overall, and I can't wait to hear what they do next!

This recipe was inspired by the song "Mark Of The Pizzagram." It's the first savory Metalcakes recipe I've posted. Okay, okay... So these aren't really cakes. They're more like rolls. Pizza rolls can be made several ways, but I found a method close to cinnamon rolls works best.
To make the pepperoni pentagrams, I used this picture as a template. Just shrink the image to pepperoni-size, and remove the negative space of the image with an X-acto, or very sharp paring knife. If you're having trouble making a clean cut in your pepperoni, try freezing it first, then cutting.

Mark of the Pizza Cake

Makes 12

Metal Constituents:

For the Pizza Sauce:
  • 1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-sized cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 2  6"sprigs of fresh basil, with the leaves attached
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and split in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
For the Pizza Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup beer (I used High Life)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Toppings of your choice. Recommended by Professor Pizza: Pepperoni and Mushrooms or Satanic Goat Cheese and Herb

Merciless Instructions:

  1. Make the pizza sauce first: Process tomatoes and juice in a food processor or blender until they're pureed, but still a little chunky. Set aside.
  2. Place olive oil and butter in a saucepan and heat on medium-low until the butter is melted.
  3. Add garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add processed tomatoes, basil, onion halves, and sugar.
  5. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove onion halves and basil sprigs. Set aside to cool.
  8. To make the Pizza Dough: Mix together both flours, yeast, baking powder, salt, olive oil, and beer (either by hand, or in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attached), until your dough is soft and smooth. If your dough seems too dry, add another splash of beer.
  9. Place your dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  11. While your dough is rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  12. Grease each section of a cupcake tin with butter, and set aside.
  13. Once the half hour is up, punch your dough down, and place on a floured surface.
  14. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into a 10" X 12" rectangle.
  15. Spread pizza sauce over your dough rectangle. Don't feel obligated to use all the pizza sauce, I always have some left over. You can use it as a dipping sauce for your finished pizza cakes.
  16. Cover with both types of shredded cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup of each for use later.
  17. Starting with the long side of your rectangle, roll it into a log. 
  18. Using a serrated knife, and a gentle sawing motion, slice your pizza log into 12 pieces.
  19. Place each piece into a greased cupcake tin.
  20. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  21. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  22. Remove pizza cakes from the oven, and top with remaining shredded cheese and your choice of toppings.
  23. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is slightly browned and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  24. Remove pizza cakes from the oven, and serve hot. If you have any left over, store them in the freezer in an air-tight container. Then re-heat in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  25. Pizza cakes rise in the night. 
I couldn't find any live footage of Axeslasher, so here's "Mark of the Pizzagram" and "Invasion of the Babesnatchers," the first two tracks off Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1. Enjoy!