The phrase "fusion cuisine" can elicit a number of reactions from people, from abject horror (pop-tart sushi) to euphoric delight (pop-tart sushi), but even the wildest dreams of our world's most creative chefs could never cause my head to spin quite like Imen McDonnell's Irish Sandwich Cake. I'm accustomed to The Cake and The Sandwich serving as the vehicles for innovation — just think about Thanksgiving Panini's or a cake-in-a-jar — but here they're the entirely worthy subject of it. At first glance, this towering beauty may look like your average layer cake. A hint of lemon in the icing, layers of buttery rich white cake practically guaranteed, but a single slice reveals something surprising: the insides are actually layers of homemade bread, filled with "savory goodness" and slathered with chilled mayonnaise. Surprise!
There are several options for filling, like Chicken & Stuffing or the more basic Cheese & Onion, but I'd probably spring for the Tuna & Sweet Corn (pictured above). Additionally, since a dish like this is destined to be super rich and filling, I'd probably experiment with some kind of bacon and/or blue cheese combination. You might say that's "mad as a bag of cats," but at Food52 we have a different word to call it. "Lunch."
An Irish Sandwich Cake from I Married An Irish Farmer