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How to bake an apprenticeship fudge cake

Terry Cherry, a fictional celebrity chef (and alter-ego of West Berksire Training Consortium's Matt Garvey), shares his favourite recipe...

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Terry Cherry, a fictional celebrity chef (and alter-ego of West Berksire Training Consortium's Matt Garvey), shares his favourite recipe...

Hello everybody. This week I’ll be baking the nation’s favourite apprenticeship fudge cake. We all love apprenticeship fudge cake. In fact, we love it so much that by 2020 we’ll have eaten a whopping three million slices!

However, this week I’m making the cake with my own little extra twist. Now, I know some will ask: "Terry, why are you changing a tried and trusted recipe that we're all happy with?" Well, viewers, I’m changing it because I want to and because I can, so there.


  • 1 large funding agency
  • 1800-2000 training providers and colleges
  • 1 freshly picked pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ)
  • 1 medium-sized invitation to tender (ITT)
  • £440 million
  • 20kg of fudge  


First of all, take the large funding agency (you can use any but my favourite are grown in Coventry). Scoop it out until its nothing more than a shell. Don’t throw anyway the pulp – you can use that for garden mulch, or lubricating steam engines.

Set the shell of the agency to one side and let it rest. Next, you’ll need to peel both the freshly picked PQQ and the medium-sized ITT. It is vitally important that you peel these at exactly the same time (don’t ask why).

Using a largish bowl you’ll now need to mash the ITT and PQQ together until you’re pretty much exhausted. Mash away as if your life depended on it!

Now take the 1,800-2,000 training providers and colleges, place them on a chopping board and give them a bloody good beating. For this I recommend a mallet or, failing that, a baseball bat.

They can be stubborn, so don’t be afraid to really bash them until they’re nothing more than a pulp. After a hard day at work I find that there’s nothing more cathartic than bashing training providers.

Now you fold in the training provider pulp with the mashed up PQQ and ITT. You’ll need a bit of elbow grease for this but if you add in the £440 million then you’ll find it all blends together a little easier.

Keep folding the mixture until you get the consistency of chilled concrete. Here’s a tip: once you start smelling that distinct aroma of bureaucracy, you can stop.

The mixture should look grey and rather unappetising but, dear viewer, do not be disheartened!

'It will look hideous'

Next, take the shell of the funding agency and fill it with the mixture. You’ll notice that the shell of the agency can’t cope with the volume but don’t worry, just let it ooze over onto the worktop. It will make a dreadful mess but somebody else will clear it up.

Once you have overfilled the shell, pop the whole thing in the oven and allow it to half bake for 4-5 months. Don’t worry about exact timings, this recipe will be ready when it’s ready. If your guests keep asking when it will be served, tell them it’s ‘imminent’ and that should shut them up.

In around mid-April, take the half-baked cake out of the oven and let it cool. It will look hideous. In fact, to be honest, it will appear and smell totally inedible. DO NOT PANIC.

Take the 20kg of fudge, melt it and then smear liberally over the cake until it looks like something delicious. Once you’ve totally hidden – I mean, covered – your cake with fudge, pop it onto a tray and let it rest until January 2018, by which time you might have built up enough courage to actually eat it. Serve stone cold with AEB (adult education budget) custard.

Warning: Consumption may lead to anxiety and/or heart palpitations. 

Matt Garvey is managing director of West Berkshire Training Consortium. He tweets @WBTCNewbury

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