Have fun with food this Red Nose Day

A messy plate or a delicious dessert?
A messy plate or a delicious dessert?

If you are holding a bakeathon or a fundraising tea this Friday, keep with the Red Nose tradition of making it quirky.

It’s the perfect opportunity to have some fun with food on a plate and try something different. David Woods, executive head chef at the Sofitel London Gatwick, has got messy with sponge cake in aid of Comic Relief.

Cleaning up for Comic Relief... David Woods with his edible messy plate

Cleaning up for Comic Relief... David Woods with his edible messy plate

“It was amazing how many people were fooled by this edible messy plate complete with scourer and washing up suds. It really made people smile. The only thing that can’t be eaten is the plate itself, while everything on it is delicious, from the tangy, fresh raspberry puree and rich chocolate sauce to the washing suds made from prosecco bubbles.

Sponge is the cake sculptor’s perfect material as you can carve it into any shape you want. I used a classic Victoria sponge recipe, which hasn’t changed in years – equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour with a hint of vanilla extract. In the Sofitel kitchen, we make all our sauces from scratch, but keep it simple at home by using shop-bought products.

If you are baking for Red Nose Day, throw in a comic element and wait for the laughs and the money to roll in.”

*On March 15, La Brasserie, Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant, will be giving all proceeds from its `Messy Plate’ dessert to Comic Relief. To book a table call 01293 567070 or email H6204@sofitel.com.

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Comic Relief Messy Plate

For the sponge:

200g caster sugar

200g softened butter

200g self-raising flour sifted

4 medium eggs, beaten

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

Touch of yellow colouring

For the butter icing:

100g softened butter

140g sifted icing sugar

Few drops of vanilla extract

Green colouring

Green food colouring and 100g desiccated coconut

Ready-made raspberry and chocolate sauces available from most supermarkets

100ml skimmed milk and 1tsp caster sugar for the bubbles

Method

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with the vanilla extract and few drops of yellow food colouring until light and fluffy

Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time to prevent the mixture from splitting.

Using a metal spoon, fold in the flour with the baking powder.

Pour the mixture into a 15cm square cake tin which has been greased and lined with baking parchment. Bake in a preheated oven, 180oC (160oC fan) for 20 minutes. Cool in the tin before turning out onto a chopping board.

For the butter icing, cream the icing sugar, vanilla extract and butter together with a touch of green colouring.

Mix a few drops of green food colouring into the desiccated coconut so it turns dark `scourer’ green.

Cut the sponge into oblong scourer shapes. Carve the scourer indents either side. Spread butter icing on the top and coat with a layer of green desiccated coconut.

To serve put the scourer sponge on the plate and squeeze small amounts of the sauces around it. Then `splat’ with the back of a spoon - the kids will love helping with this.

To finish, warm the milk to 40oC with sugar in a saucepan then use a balloon whisk to form a surface of bubbles. Scoop off the bubbles and decorate the plate to look like washing suds immediately before serving.

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