Nfld. & Labrador

Main meal or dessert? Indian Cove woman bakes turr-ific birthday cake for father-in-law

A specialty cake maker in Indian Cove took on a uniquely Newfoundland project this week when she baked a cake that looks like a cooked turr dinner.

Catherine Sansome baked cake for father-in-law's birthday, overwhelmed at response

Catherine Sansome says since making this turr dinner cake, she has been overwhelmed with the response. (Submitted)

A specialty cake maker in Indian Cove took on a uniquely Newfoundland project this week when she baked a cake that looks like a cooked turr dinner.

The turr — or murre as it's known outside of Newfoundland — is a seabird native to the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and has been hunted in Newfoundland for decades.

In fact, allowing hunting of turrs was actually part of a precondition for the province joining confederation with Canada in 1949.

Catherine Sansome of Indian Cove, near Twillingate, has been baking cakes for 13 years and launched her own home business in 2012. She was looking for a cake idea for her father-in-law's birthday when she she remembered his favourite Sunday tradition of eating cooked turr.

Newfoundland turrs - also known as common murres - live in coastal areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, and are usually served roasted. (Wikimedia Commons)

"He really really loves his traditional Newfoundland dinner with turr every Sunday, so I just decided to give it a go with cake," she said. "When he first came and sat down I don't think he really knew what it was, and then he had to poke it and touch it with his finger."

The Turr dinner Sansome baked is made from chocolate cake with the vegetables made from fondant, and the gravy from caramel.

She has no formal training when it comes to baking cakes, and for this one just experimented until it started looking like a real turr dinner.

"I just used my own imagination," she said.

Sansome's father-in-law cuts the turr dinner cake for the first time, showing the delicious chocolatey insides. (Submitted)

After posting photos of the cake on social media, Sansome has been amazed at how much the project has resonated with people. She feels she may be on to something, and is open for orders if people have other traditional Newfoundland meals in mind that they would like to see turned into a delicious cake.

"The response has been amazing, everyone has just flipped out over this," she said. "People don't think it's actually cake."

Sansome said she is open to baking other cakes based on other Newfoundland dishes following the response to the turr dinner cake. (Submitted)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geoff Bartlett

Contributor

Geoff Bartlett is an educator and journalist in Corner Brook.

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