(By Jess Grieveson-Smith)
A head chef has created a series of baffling meals which mess with the mind…
From a fried egg on toast that’s actually lemon drizzle cake with mango puree, to a mouldy orange that’s actually liver pate with an orange glaze and meringue dust, Ben Churchill, 33, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, creates food that wreaks havoc with the taste buds.
Initially going viral on Instagram for a soapy dish washing sponge – that was actually a delicious olive oil cake with a lime glaze and apple puree – Ben has continued to baffle his followers.
In some of his latest work, Ben has created a cigarette tray, a sponge and a dish washer pod made entirely from cake.
Repulsive? Or creative?
Ben said: “I began testing what I could with cake out of curiosity – some people can’t even touch them as the idea is so repulsive but others simply laugh, amazed.
“I’d worked as a chef, in pubs and restaurants and I’d been self-taught.
“I created an ash tray that looked realistic – when in actual fact, it was cigarettes, created from white chocolate mixed with golden syrup and a dash of food colouring poured into a mould.
“The ‘ash’ was meringue crumb, with an edible silver spray and just to baffle people more, I use a smokey lapsang tea syrup.
“But it’s always important to me that it tastes nice.
“Yet people found my work so realistic, they couldn’t eat it or some were even offended by it.”
Some people are so offended, they threaten to ‘take his page down’!
Ben has an impressive 61K followers on Instagram – but he’s still has his fair share of negativity, with people even threatening to take his page down.
He added: “I had a lady, around the time that there was a viral trend with people eating those Tide Pods, the washing pod, that was super offended.
“She said I was encouraging kids to eat soapy sponges and was truly offended by the cake – I had a few like that.
“But it got me engagement, and it also meant I put together a book on how I made all of the confusing creations.
“I created a soap that was actually a lemon mousse with flavoured shortbread and lavender syrup.
“My burger was actually rice crispy cakes and my raw chicken breast was actually strawberry panna cotta.
“It might not be the day job but when I do make them, people appreciate them.
“If they can get over what they think it’s going to taste like, it makes people chuckle and they actually enjoy how good the desserts are.
“People are amazed – so amazed, that I’ve continued to share my recipes and how i do it into a second book.”