(PIX11)-- Long-time chef to Diana, Charles, and young William and Harry, Carolyn Robb shares recipes and anecdotes in her new book "The Royal Touch."
Here are some her delicious ones:
CHOCOLATE BISCUIT CAKE
FOR THE CAKE:
• 340g / 12oz butter (3 sticks)
• 240g / 8½oz golden syrup * (¾ cup)
• 60g / 2oz unsweetened cocoa powder (⅔ cup)
• 120g / 4oz cup dark chocolate (⅔ cup)
• 5ml / 1 tsp pure vanilla extract *
• 60g / 2oz pistachios (½ cup)
• 100g / 3½oz soft , plump dried fi gs, sliced (½ cup packed)
• 450g / 1lb digestive biscuits, * crushed
• 300g / 11oz dark chocolate (2 cups)
• 50g / 2oz white chocolate (⅔ cup)
• Selection of small chocolate sticks and dark and white Maltesers or Whoppers
1. Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a heavy based pan. Do not let it boil.
2. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, dark chocolate and vanilla extract.
3. Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.
4. Add the pistachios, figs and crushed biscuits to the chocolate mixture and stir well.
5. Line the base and sides of an 8-inch round or square cake tin or 1lb loaf tin with baking parchment or plastic wrap.
6. Place the mixture into the tin and press it down. (If you are using a square tin, make sure you press it down well into the corners.)
7. Leave to cool at room temperature before covering and chilling in the fridge. It will take about 2 hours to set completely firm.
8. When set, remove from the tin and place it on a cooling rack.
9. Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate separately. Spread the dark chocolate all over the cake.
11. Decorate with the Maltesers before the chocolate sets, so that they stick to the cake. Position chocolate sticks as desired and drizzle with the white chocolate.
12. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
13. Keeps for up 2 weeks, although it seldom lasts that long, once people know that it is there!
• You can replace the pistachios with pecans, toasted almonds or macadamia nuts.
• You can replace the fi gs with raisins, sultanas or dried cherries.
• For a festive holiday treat, use glacé cherries and dried apricots that have been soaked in cherry brandy.
• For a children’s party cake, decorate with Smarties or M&M’s.
DATE FLAPJACKS (gluten-free)
• 200g / 7oz pitted dates (1¼ cups)
• 285g / 10oz butter (2½ sticks)
• 140g / 5oz golden syrup (⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp)
• 30g / 2 Tbsp dark muscovado sugar
• 200g / 7oz gluten-free rolled oats (2⅓ cups)
• 85g / 3oz gluten-free jumbo oats (1 cup)
• 30g / 1oz unsweetened desiccated coconut (¼ cup)
• 30g / 4 Tbsp linseed
• 30g / 4 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
• 5ml / 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 4 dried apricots
• 15g / 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
• 15g / 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC / 325ºF.
2. Line the base and sides of an 8-inch square cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.
3. Chop the dates and combine them with the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large heavy-based saucepan.
4. Put on a low heat until the butter melts and then continue to cook gently for several minutes so that the dates break down and you have a thick, gooey mixture.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, coconut, seeds and vanilla extract. Mix well.
6. Place the mixture into the lined cake tin, do not compact it down too much or the flapjacks will be very dense.
7. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven. Chop the apricots and sprinkle them onto the flapjacks with the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Cook for a further 5 – 8 minutes. The flapjacks will still be quite soft at this stage but they firm up as they cool.
8. While still just warm, remove the flapjacks from the cake tin using the baking parchment to lift them out. Place them on a chopping board and cut into the required shapes using a sharp serrated pastry knife.
9. When completely cold, store in an airtight container. They keep for up to two weeks.
SALMON MAYONNAISE WRAPS
• 225g / 8oz cold poached salmon
FOR THE GREEN MAYONNAISE:
• 100g / 3½oz mayonnaise (½ cup)
• Zest of 1 lemon
• A handful of rocket (arugula) and mint leaves
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 24 small ‘Little Gem’ lettuce leaves
• 24 tiny sprigs of dill
1. Using a hand blender, combine all the ingredients for the green mayonnaise. Blend until you have a smooth textured, delicate green mayonnaise.
2. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Flake the salmon and mix it into the mayonnaise.
4. Wash the lettuce leaves and dry them thoroughly.
5. Place a teaspoonful of salmon mayonnaise into each lettuce leaf.
6. Garnish each one with a sprig of dill.
7. Serve immediately.