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Jubilee: Recipes for a right Royal tea party




Planning to mark the Platinum Jubilee with a garden party? Former personal chef to the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princes William and Harry, Carolyn Robb shares three recipes fit for the Queen, taken from her new book Tea at the Palace

Rose and White Chocolate Cupcakes

Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Rose & White Chocolate Cupcakes (55853228)
Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Rose & White Chocolate Cupcakes (55853228)

Makes 24 mini or 12 large cupcakes

Says Carolyn: “The perfect size for afternoon tea, these pretty little cupcakes are especially welcome when there is a large selection on offer and you want to try a little of everything! The white buttercream is flavoured with vanilla, while the pink has a splash of rose water in it.”

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES

170g butter, at room temperature

175g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 free-range eggs

175g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pink natural food colouring, as needed

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

100g white chocolate, chopped

100g butter, at room temperature

100g icing sugar, sifted

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Few drops rose water

Pink natural food colouring, as needed

FOR THE DECORATION

Small roses or rose petals

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4). Line 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups with paper cases.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour and baking powder directly into the bowl. On low speed, mix just until incorporated. Starting with 1 or 2 drops, stir in just enough food colouring to create a delicate pink shade.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly. Bake the cupcakes for 10–12 minutes for the mini cupcakes and 18–20 minutes for the larger ones until they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for a few minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and leave to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the buttercream. Put the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from over the heat and leave to cool completely.

In a bowl, using the electric mixer, beat the butter on low speed until creamy. Add the icing sugar and continue beating until the mixture is very light and creamy. With the mixer running, gradually pour in the melted chocolate and continue beating until all the chocolate has been added and is well mixed.

Divide the buttercream evenly between two small bowls. Stir the vanilla into 1 bowl. Add the rose water and then the food colouring to the second bowl, starting with one or two drops of each and adding just enough to achieve a pleasant rose flavour and a pretty pink colour. Spoon each batch of buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 9-mm open star nozzle.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe a swirl of buttercream onto the top of each one, then decorate with a small rose or some rose petals.

Rhubarb and White Chocolate Tartlets

Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Filo Tartlets (55853384)
Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Filo Tartlets (55853384)

“In this recipe, thin, crisp, golden filo pastry shells are filled with unctuous white chocolate–vanilla mousse and topped with tart rhubarb – a heavenly marriage of crunchy, creamy and tangy,” says Carolyn. “Harry and Meghan served rhubarb tartlets at their wedding, which recalled a little taste of Harry's childhood and the wonderful rhubarb grown at Highgrove.”

Ingredients:

4 rhubarb stalks

3 tablespoons water

50g caster sugar

4 large sheets filo pastry, thawed

according to package directions if frozen

Flour, for dusting

3 tablespoons butter, melted

FOR THE MOUSSE

300g white chocolate, chopped

250g plain Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE DECORATION

12 raspberries

12 small white edible flowers, such as chamomile

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4). Place 12 7.5-cm fluted round tartlet moulds or a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a baking tray.

To prepare the rhubarb, trim off both ends of each stalk. If the stalks seem fibrous, peel them. (Rhubarb at the height of the season is usually tender enough not to need peeling.) Cut the stalks on the diagonal into 2.5-cm lengths. The pieces will have a lozenge shape. Transfer the pieces to a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add the water to the dish and then sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb. Cover the dish with aluminium foil. Bake the rhubarb for about 15 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, uncover and leave to cool completely.

To make the tartlets, lay a filo sheet on a lightly floured work surface, keeping the other sheets covered with cling film to prevent them from drying out. Lightly brush the entire sheet with some of the butter. Lay a second sheet on top, then lightly brush the top sheet with butter. Cut the layered sheets into six 13-cm squares. Line six of the tartlet moulds with a filo square, pressing the filo down firmly onto the base. Trim the edges where necessary so the pastry does not extend above the rim. Repeat with the remaining two filo sheets to line the remaining six tartlet moulds.

Bake the tartlet shells for 10–12 minutes until golden. Leave to cool completely on the pan on a wire rack, then carefully remove them from the moulds.

To make the mousse, put the chocolate into a heatproof medium bowl over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Alternatively, heat in a microwave. Remove from over the heat and leave to cool. Using a balloon whisk, gradually whisk the yoghurt into the chocolate. The mixture may initially curdle, but as you continue adding the yoghurt, it will become smooth and thick. Whisk in the vanilla.

To finish, spoon the mousse into the tartlet shells, dividing it evenly. Drain the rhubarb well and arrange the pieces on the top of each tartlet, finishing with a raspberry and a flower. Serve within a couple of hours, as the pastry softens if left longer.

Mini Vanilla , Ginger and Buttermilk Loaves

Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Mini Loaf Cakes (55853392)
Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing - Mini Loaf Cakes (55853392)

“This is an amazing cake recipe; no one ever suspects that it is gluten-free,” says Carolyn. “Served ‘naked’ with a simple lemon glaze and no frosting, the cake speaks for itself. It is beautifully moist and the flavours of the vanilla, stem ginger, buttermilk and lemon together are delectable.”

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE

225g butter, at room temperature

225g caster sugar

4 free-range eggs

140g ground almonds

125g plain gluten-free flour blend

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

3 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 bulbs stem ginger in syrup, finely grated

1 tablespoon syrup from stem ginger

FOR THE GLAZE

125g icing sugar

60ml fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

FOR THE DECORATION

Edible small fresh flowers

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4). Line 12 8 x 4.5-cm mini loaf tins with nonstick baking paper. Place the tins on a large baking tray.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture begins to curdle, whisk in a few spoons of the flour. Add the ground nuts, (remaining) flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum and, using a rubber spatula, fold them in just until fully incorporated. Finally, stir in the buttermilk, vanilla, grated ginger and ginger syrup until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared tins. Bake the loaves for 15–18 minutes until they are golden on top and spring back to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack for a few minutes, then turn them out onto the rack and turn right side up. Set the rack over a baking tray.

While the loaves are baking, make the glaze. In a small pan over medium heat, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and water and heat, stirring, until a smooth, quite runny, translucent icing forms. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.

While the loaves are still warm, brush the glaze on the top and sides of each loaf, then leave to cool completely. Just before serving, top each loaf with flowers and a very light dusting of icing sugar.

Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing (55853383)
Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb, White Lion Publishing (55853383)

Tea at the Palace by Carolyn Robb is out now, published by White Lion Publishing and priced £14.99


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