Curried Beef Surprise Cake


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Marvellous Meals with Mince

Marvellous Meals with Mince

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 2012

  • About

I remember the excitement I felt when I first made this as an easy supper; I thought it was a slightly mad experiment and when it worked I couldn’t believe that anything as easy could be so magical. The real surprise is that the poached eggs buried within magically retain their soft centres – as you cut into the centre of the juicy, spicy beef cake you release a running softness of bright orange egg yolk.


  • 4 tsp eggs
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 3 rounded tsp tikka masala paste
  • 2 tsp garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • a handful of mint or coriander leaves, chopped
  • sea salt
  • olive oil, for brushing


Poach the eggs lightly until the whites are just set, about 6 minutes. Immediately plunge them into cold water to prevent any further cooking.

Place the beef in a mixing bowl and mix in the curry paste, garlic, mint and some salt. Spread half the mixture into a 15cm cake tin – not one with a loose base -pressing it level with a wooden spoon. Then make four equally spaced depressions with a large metal spoon and place a poached egg into each. Cover with the remaining beef and pat level. Brush the top with a little oil.

Preheat the oven to 240°C/Gas mark 9. Place the beef cake on a high shelf in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until a darkish brown. Do not cook for any longer than 20 minutes, otherwise the egg will no longer be runny. Remove from the oven and carefully pour the juices out of the tin into a small saucepan. Boil the juices fiercely over a high heat for 2–4 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Carefully turn the cake out of the tin and place onto a serving plate. Spoon the reduced juices over the cake to glaze and serve immediately, cut into slices like a conventional cake.