A recreation of Quentin Blake’s ‘enormous crocodile’ in celebration of Roald Dahl Day
The idea for this cake appears in Roald Dahl’s Cookbook, where Quentin Blake provides a glorious step-by-step illustration of how to assemble your crocodile. As you can see, I played with a few of the ideas and ingredients and have given you some quantities and a method too.
1 medium baguette (about 50cm long)
For the green skin:
200g baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 clove of garlic, peeled
100ml olive oil
500g chickpeas (that’s 2 drained 400g cans)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
For the “succulent children stuffing”:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grainy mustard
About 20 cooked chipolata sausages
4 slices of good ham
For the eyes, teeth, limbs and scales:
2 thick slices of cucumber
2 hard boiled eggs
1 black olive, halved
Make a green hummus for the croc’s skin by whizzing the spinach, lemon juice (to keep the colour), garlic and olive oil together in a blender or food processor. Once you have a smooth green paste, add the chickpeas, tahini, cumin, salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. Season to taste.
Now slice the baguette open horizontally at each end, but leave a little section right in the middle intact (this enables you to create the open mouth by bending open the top jaw).
Spread the inside of the bread with the butter and mustard and then load up the mouth section with the sausages and the body section with the ham (which remains flatter).
Cover the entire top and sides of the baguette with your green hummus and carefully transfer it using a couple of fish slices/palette knives on to your serving board or plate.
Now for the fun: bringing your croc’ to life. Let’s start with the eyes. Cut ⅓ from the rounded end of your egg and place it on the slice of cucumber, lay the black olive on top and skewer it together with ½ a cocktail stick. Push 2 cocktail sticks into the baguette where you want your eyes and push the slice cucumber into place on the top.
Cut the remaining egg white into triangles and use for the teeth. Chop the tails from the mangetout and place as scales down the back. Lastly make the legs using chipolatas and halved gherkins for toes.
Our enormous crocodile was devoured by a hoard of hungry 10-year-olds at my daughter’s party. It just goes to show that life’s not all about “whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow delights” (although there was, of course, a chocolate cake on offer too).
Recipe: Jenny Chandler