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Royal Baby Shower

With the birth of Prince William and Kate’s baby imminent I thought it would be fun to rustle up a ‘royal baby dessert’  featuring Kate’s favorite dessert ‘Sticky Toffee Pudding’ Of course Cake Pops are always popular party food and these Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake Pops dipped in white chocolate and decorated with sugar nursery ‘runouts’ would be perfect for Kate and her friends celebrating her baby shower. (recipe below)

So what can Kate expect bringing a baby into The Royal Family ? Here’s a sample of questions I am always asked…

 We know Prince William enjoyed your cakes, especially the Chocolate biscuit cake from your book Eating Royally which he chose as his Grooms’ cake, but what else did he and Prince Harry enjoy growing up?

Although “the boys” were royal princes they still had children’s palates and so any chance they had to get cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, macaroni cheese, loaded potato skins on the menu they went for it. Of course Nanny made sure they also ate their green ‘healthy’ vegetables too.

Did the Prince’s have a sweet tooth?

Both boys loved ice cream… chocolate chip, and as much of it as you would let them have without Nanny finding out. I used to make them poached pears to go with it… at least they were getting fruit as well. Banana flan was a favorite of Prince William as was any of the traditional British nursery comfort foods like bread and butter pudding, pear and banana crumble, Queen of puddings, banana custard and rice pudding.

How will the present royal chef help and support Kate with the baby?

While it seems that Kate wants the royal baby to have as normal a life as possible when they are at Kensington Palace, once they visit The Queen at Balmoral, Windsor and Sandringham ‘royal baby’ will be given his/her own footman and maid. Though I can see William requesting the use of Craigowan (a house on the estate) when they visit Balmoral Castle, just for a little more privacy. In the Queens kitchen, the chefs will be at the mercy of the royal nanny who will send down a menu each day for ‘royal baby’

As babies, what would the chef prepare for the young Princes ?

William and Harry started off on fruit purees that I used to make fresh each day in the royal pastry. Pureed apple and Pear were favorites. The vegetable section were responsible for the entrees… carrot, cauliflower and pea puree, … sieved twice to ensure no lumps. As the boys got older we added chicken, lamb and beef and pureed that into the vegetables. Of course my favorite was when Princess Diana would bring William and Harry to the kitchen and feed them yogurts sat on the kitchen table… Happy times !

Sticky Toffee Pudding Nursery Cake Pops

 Makes  30

For the cake;

6 ounces medjool dates, pitted and each cut into about 8 pieces

1 tsp baking soda

½ pint boiling water

2 ounces butter

6 ounces granulated sugar

1 egg

8 ounces all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 tsp baking powder

For the sauce;

6 ounces dark muscovado sugar

3 ½  ounces unsalted butter

¼ cup heavy cream

12 ounces white chocolate

 Prepare the sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a heavy based pan. Stir over high heat until everything is combined. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes and allow to cool.

 Place the dates in a bowl with the baking soda and the boiling water. Stir until the soda dissolves and leave to cool. Steps one and two can be done a day ahead.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8” square casserole dish.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla and keep beating. Fold in the flour and baking powder followed by the date mix. Spoon the mix into the casserole dish.

Bake in the center of the oven until the sponge is firm and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Place the sponge into a food processor and pulse until the cake has broken down into crumbs. Stir in the sauce until the mix is firm enough it can be rolled into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Form the mix into balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Refrigerate for another hour. Melt the white chocolate and one at a time dip a stick into the chocolate and then onto the cake balls. Starting with the first one, now dip the ball on the stick into the chocolate until covered. Stand the cake balls back on the parchment covered baking sheet and return to the refrigerator to harden.

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