The inspiration for this recipe for the Queen’s Jubilee cake was to enter the Fortnum & Mason Platinum Jubilee cake contest. I had read some articles about what the Queen’s taste preferences were, according to her former chef Darren McGrady. A few clues were : her favourite dessert is like a raspberry fool & with lots of cream. She likes cranberries for her burgers instead of ketchup. And finally, she likes chocolate. In addition to these ideas, I also wanted the dessert to be beautiful, unique and with an American touch. I used cranberries and pistachios, two ingredients common in the USA.
Unfortunately, my recipe did not get selected, but I was happy to be creative in the kitchen. The dessert is served as individual-sized circular layer cakes. The layers include chocolate sponge, cranberry jelly, whipped cream and ground pistachios. The cake is then coated with whipped cream and decorated with small meringue kisses. And the final touch is a melted chocolate design on the serving plate, accentuated by edible silver (“platinum”) balls.
In the end, I created not one, but two desserts. The leftover scraps can be used for a dessert I call Trifle Mess. The trifle because of the sponge, custard and splash of alcohol. And the mess because of the meringue and fruit jelly.
4 large eggs
130g caster sugar
120g cake flour
1 Tbsp (7.5g) cocoa powder
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 Egg whites
Pinch Cream of tartar
110g caster sugar
15g icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp (1.5 ml) vanilla essence
200g fresh pureed cranberry
100g granulated sugar
500 ml Water
6 leaves of gelatin, soaked in cold water
600ml whipping cream
50g roasted, unsalted pistachios, finely ground
Silver decorative edible balls (platinum)
90g Green and blacks dark chocolate melted for pattern on plate
1 Tbsp (14g) butter, softened
Preheat oven to 170C
Line a baking tray with sides with grease proof paper
First, in a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until firm peaks form. Then add sugar slowly and keep beating. Next, add egg yolks and keep beating.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Then fold this into egg mixture.
Add a few spoons egg mixture into the butter then reverse and add the butter to the main bowl of batter.
Quickly fold in, then spread evenly in the prepared pan
Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool and remove the baking paper. Then cut small circles about 3 inches in diameter. You can either use a cookie cutter or a glass or cup. Keep the cakes covered with cling film until needed to prevent the cake from drying out.
Preheat oven to 140C
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites using a hand mixer until peaks are starting to form. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until peaks start to become stiff. Then add the sugar slowly and continue beating. Add the vanilla essence and continue beating for 2 minutes longer. Then use a piping bag and 24 star tip to pipe the meringue into small kisses on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until crisp, then set aside to cool.
First, in a small saucepan heat the cranberries, water and sugar over medium heat for about 8 minutes. The seeds will float to the top, so use a spoon so remove as many as you can. That will make the texture nicer at the end. Add the softened gelatin to the cranberry mixture. Mix and heat the mixture through but do not boil.
Then remove from heat and pour into a baking tray about half the size of the one used for the cake. Chill until firm. Cut out half as many circles as you have for the cake, either using a cookie cutter or a glass.
In a chilled bowl, whip cream until medium firm peaks form. Then set aside in the refrigerator or somewhere cool.
In a small bowl melt the chocolate and butter at low heat in the microwave. Mix well and put into a piping bag. On the serving plates, make a chocolate design such as seven vertically curved dots. Then drag a toothpick through the middle to make them interconnected. Add seven “platinum” balls for decoration. When ready to serve, carefully assemble a chilled cake on each plate and serve immediately.
Start with positioning the sponge chocolate circle base on the plate, using a large drop of chocolate to stick it to the plate.
Add the jellied, tangy cranberry sauce circle on top.
Then add a whipped cream layer. Sprinkle with ground pistachios.
Finally, top with another sponge chocolate circle. Cover the whole cake with cream so it looks like a smooth white cylinder. Then carefully place some sweet crunchy mini meringues on top. Repeat the process for the next plate, until you run out of layers.
Save all the leftover pieces as I have a recipe for trifle mess to use it all up!
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