A royal Elizabeth sponge

Left to right:  Nina Broadhead, Roger Harvey, Simon Walton, Liz Howe, Amy Leader and Matthew Benson-Smith
Left to right: Nina Broadhead, Roger Harvey, Simon Walton, Liz Howe, Amy Leader and Matthew Benson-Smith
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A cake fit for the Queen was created through a competition run by Focus on Food and The Cooking School at Dean Clough.

Specialised food teachers and chefs were tasked with baking a unique cake to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Entries were submitted by The Cooking School and Focus on Food staff and after an enjoyable tasting session Dorothy-Anne Ardrey was judged the winner with her “Elizabeth Sponge.”

She is the senior advisory teacher for Focus on Food’s Scottish programme and her light sponge cake was flavoured with lavender and lemon.

It was launched this week at a Business for Calderdale Event at Dean Clough where Deputy Lieutenant Chris Harris, of Halifax, represented the Queen through the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy.

A large version of the cake crowned with the Queen’s head was admired and people were given the chance to decorate jubilee cupcakes.

They included Gary Verity, tourism head at Welcome to Yorkshire, who spoke at the event, and the Mayor of Calderdale Coun John Hardy.

Executive chef Matthew Benson-Smith said it was a fun evening.

“It was fabulous and we had a really good attendance from the business people of Calderdale,” he said.

“The Mayor and others had a go at decorating cup cakes made with the same sponge.

“The atmosphere at the Cooking School contributed greatly to the business event and many attendees lingered longer than usual.”

The cake - which was iced by 3Tier, of Salterhebble, Halifax - and cupcakes were given to the St Augustine’s Centre, Halifax, which works with the homeless.

Event organiser Steve Duncan - also a West Yorkshire deputy lieutenant - and chief executive of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, developed the idea and said he was thrilled with the result.

“I thought this was a perfect opportunity to put Calderdale and The Cooking School on the map,” he said.

“The Victoria Sponge is synonymous with British baking and has been enjoyed for years.”