If you enjoyed a tabloid-free weekend, let us break your fast with the latest Royal wedding reception menu gossip: Prince William has chosen a groom's cake made of tea biscuits and chocolate.
A groom's cake? Though groom's cakes are more common in the American South than in England, an article in The Telegraph calls this a “US-style groom's cake” yet also makes a point to scold those of us who might point to “the choice of cake as evidence of the Prince looking to the States for inspiration. In fact the 'groom's cake' has been a tradition in Britain since Victorian times, although few couples bother today.” Now you know.
Well, we are happy to “bother” with testing the recipe from Princess Diana's former chef, Darren McGrady, who happens to now reside in the South. As McGrady tells us in Eating Royally, his cookbook chronicling his time in the Royal kitchen, this is also the Queen's favorite cake. Get the recipe after the jump. SCRATCH THAT, it turns out his publisher has suddenly recalled the recipe from us and even from McGrady's own blog — ah, another bloody $$-driven American publishing company. Turn the page for more.
UPDATE: Though McGrady himself is one of the most generous chefs we've met — 100% of his book proceeds go to charities that his former boss, Princess Diana, admired — his publisher, Thomas Nelson, seems to be less generously inclined with their pocketbook. After McGrady himself sent us the Royal Family's chocolate biscuit cake recipe, we published it here (McGrady did the same on his blog). A few hours later, we received a notice from a Thomas Nelson publicist to promptly remove the recipe from our website, as did McGrady (it is his recipe, mind you). We were told we could include a link for readers to buy the book instead. That is, we must say, a first in all of our days as a cookbook reviewer here and previously at other newspapers where we routinely — and ethically — include one recipe for readers to sample. Heck, even James Beard folks are less uptight about what can be revealed to the public. Here's to hoping that one of you, kind readers, already copied and pasted that recipe into your Facebook feed to generously share. The original post, sans the recipe, follows. UPDATE AGAIN: Here's the recipe, which was offered up to another food website.
A chocolate biscuit cake is not a traditional cake in the fresh-from-the-oven sense. It's essentially a chilled chocolate-butter mousse speckled with crushed cookies, then glazed in chocolate. “I used to prepare it for both [Prince William and the Queen] when they had tea together,” explains McGrady via his blog. “The Queen would request the cake in the menu book for Sunday tea when she knew her grandson would be joining her from Eton.”
McGrady says when afternoon tea included the chocolate biscuit cake, the staff knew not to dare touch the leftovers (it keeps well for several days in the fridge). “Her Majesty loves this cake so much she takes a mental picture of how much she is sending back to the kitchens each day,” continues McGrady. “I remember her on one occasion instructing her page to call the kitchen to ask who had been eating her cake.”
Might be wise for Kate to just stick to a slice of her own wedding cake on the big night.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Removed per the publisher's request. You may contact their publicity department here.