Michael Buerk is joined by chef Anna Haugh in the magnificent kitchen of one of Britain's grandest stately homes to celebrate food served at royal weddings.
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'The royal family are steeped in tradition, and throughout history
'the royal tables have showcased culinary excellence.
'In celebration of royal food...'
We know it's the Queen's recipe
because we've got it in her own hand.
'..from the present and the past...'
That is proper regal.
'..we recreate old family favourites...'
Now, the Queen Mother had this really wicked trick with these.
What a mess.
'..we sample royal eating alfresco....'
-That is what you want.
'..and revisit the most extravagant times.'
Pheasant, stag, turkey, salmon,
oysters and turbot dressed in a lobster champagne sauce.
'This is Royal Recipes.'
Hello. I'm Michael Buerk, and welcome to Royal Recipes.
This is Audley End, one of Britain's finest stately homes,
built in the style of a royal palace and once owned by a king.
In the splendour of the gardens, halls,
and kitchen of this grandest of country houses,
we'll be recreating the food served at the highest royal tables.
And it all starts here,
with this gem - a royal kitchen maid's cookbook -
the only surviving recipe book of its kind in the Royal Archive.
This is an exact copy of the original,
which is kept at Windsor Castle.
Inside, the recipes of Mildred Nicholls,
who worked at Buckingham Palace in the early 1900s.
And for the first time in over 100 years,
we'll be bringing these recipes back to life.
This time we're cooking for royal weddings,
a day the royal family and all the nation can celebrate
in the most glorious style.
There's pomp, pageantry, tradition.
An event that throughout history has produced
some of the finest royal wedding banquets.
'Today in the royal recipes kitchen...'
You can imagine the royal footman coming in with that.
-Look at that.
'..Chef Anna Haugh takes inspiration from a Victorian wedding...'
So, there you have it -
stuffed crown of lamb with salsa verde.
'..the moment baker Fiona Cairns
'was asked to create a royal wedding cake...'
It was the most amazing honour
and I would say the beginning of sleepless nights for me.
'..and Chef Paul Ainsworth showcases a royal wedding favourite.'
I know that Princess Anne had lobster and partridge at her wedding.
In the kitchen wing of this glorious stately home,
we start our celebration of wedding food
with a dish created for Princess Beatrice,
beloved youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.
Hello and welcome to the kitchen wing of the great house,
and with me is top London chef Anna Haugh.
Royal weddings today.
Everybody loves a wedding.
But especially, I think, everybody goes mad for a royal wedding.
Yeah, they're not just great dynastic occasions,
but they're sometimes wild popular celebrations,
and, as far as the royal family is concerned,
something to be marked by an extra special banquet.
I've got the menu card here for the wedding breakfast
for Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest daughter.
Look at it. 14 courses.
But the one that's interesting us today is this one -
"Les cotelettes d'Agneau a l'Italienne,"
which I suppose is Italian lamb chops.
-Now, are you going to do that,
or something a bit modern twist to it?
Well, I'm quite inspired by this,
so I've got a few Italian flavours through this
and I'm going to use lamb chops,
but I'm going to do a stuffed crown of lamb with a salsa verde.
Wow. What do you do first?
So, the first thing I'm going to make is the stuffing.
So, in a pan here, cooking kind of slowly, I have some onions
and some garlic.
And to this I'm going to add the Parma ham...
So it's got a very Italian flavour right from the start.
Right from the start, yeah.
And I don't know if you can smell that, Michael...
I certainly can.
You need to crisp up your Parma ham,
which just smells delicious as it's caramelising now,
and I'm going to add in porcini mushrooms.
-Give that a little bit of a stir.
The Victorians were rather in love with the idea of Italy.
I think you had to be rich in those days,
but they'd take themselves off on a grand tour to Italy
and they must have picked up some of these dishes
and the love for some of these dishes on the tours.
Absolutely. And the Italians are famous for a bit of romance,
-so it's quite fitting...
-For a wedding breakfast.
OK, so this is pretty much ready to go now.
I would put it into a bowl to cool down,
so that we can mix it with the breadcrumbs.
Essentially, something like this is what you need.
-So, I'm going to take a little bit of cheese,
Parmesan cheese to go in there.
-Parmesan, of course.
And then I'm going to slowly add some crumbs.
-There's going to be bags of flavour in there.
And because this is stuffed in the centre of the crown,
it's also going to absorb all those delicious lamb meat juices.
I think Queen Victoria was in two minds about this wedding, you know?
Because Princess Beatrice was her youngest daughter
and she didn't want her to get married and leave,
she wanted her to stay in the palace as her companion and, you know,
when she got engaged, Princess Beatrice,
Queen Victoria didn't speak to her for seven months.
-Well, I guess when you live in a huge house,
you can avoid each other easier.
There might have been a few grinding of teeth at this wedding breakfast.
I don't know. I think she may have forgiven her. She did wear her mother's wedding dress.
Ah. Well, there you go.
I'm going to add just a little bit of olive oil to this,
just to bring it together.
-What, to give it some sort of...?
-Just to bring it together
because we want to be able to kind of squeeze it
into the centre of the lamb.
You want to be careful when you add things like that,
any wet ingredients to stuffing, you know,
-stuff your stuffing...
-We wouldn't want that.
Next, I'm going to tie the lamb.
I'm interested in how you do this
-because you're going to make it into a crown, aren't you?
But, first of all, I'm going to season it.
A little bit of salt goes a long way.
Now, do you want a little help with this?
-Shall I hold it in place while you string it up?
I think I will, yes.
-What can I do?
What we need to do is turn this around.
I promise you, Michael, I know what I'm doing.
You do, you do, you do.
-So if I hold it like that...
And then I will...
Because this is the tricky bit, isn't it?
Yeah, this is the tricky bit.
The old crown of lamb.
So you just need to kind of try to hook it underneath the bone,
so that it kind of holds in place as it's cooking.
It's quite easy, it's not too hard.
I think even you could manage this, Michael.
I'd be all fingers and thumbs.
Just give it a little bit of a tie.
Once it's cooked, will it stay in this position,
or when you cut the string,
will it all kind of fall apart?
It will kind of hold its shape a little bit,
but we have two racks of lamb that we're kind of connecting together,
so it will kind of release a little bit,
and then once you carve it, it will obviously...
It's very grand, though, isn't it?
-It makes a wonderful impression when you wheel it on.
-It's quite royal, isn't it?
-A crown of lamb.
Now you're going to sort that out.
I am. And now I'm going to stuff the centre
with this fabulous Italian stuffing.
-That looks good. It smells wonderful, doesn't it?
And you don't want the stuffing to be too wet.
You kind of want it to be fairly dry
because you want it to be able to absorb,
to have the spare kind of dryness
to absorb all the meat juices from this.
-Now this was a...
...19th-century wedding breakfast,
but is this the sort of food that's served at posh weddings these days?
Well, yes, actually.
I would definitely say that these are similar flavours
that you would see... springtime, summer weddings.
So I'm going to give this to you,
pop into the oven at 200 degrees for about 25 minutes.
And when you go out to the oven, will you grab one there,
I've already got it resting.
OK. Right, chef.
You can imagine the royal footman coming in with that.
Look at that.
-Shall I pop it here?
-Look at that. Beautiful.
So, that looks absolutely perfect.
Perfect. So, next I'm going to make our salsa verde.
So salsa verde means, essentially, green sauce.
And it's got a selection of all sorts of different herbs
that are chopped through that.
In here, we have some chopped parsley, basil and mint.
So, really quite aromatic summer, kind of, feeling herbs.
So we're going to chop our anchovies and our capers to add in there.
What a mixture of flavours it's going to be.
Yeah. Anchovies, I always think,
is like a little secret weapon that you can add to things.
Well, because you don't really know it's there.
Although it's a very strong flavour,
just one or two little fillets of anchovy in nearly any sauce,
even in your lamb sauce, like your lamb gravy, it would be beautiful.
But they're little explosions of taste, aren't they?
Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.
And then I'm going to slice a little bit of garlic because, I mean,
we can't have salsa verde without some nice little slivers of garlic.
I didn't think Queen Victoria had travelled abroad much at all,
but I think she went to Italy a couple of times. Florence, I think.
Oh, I would imagine she went to Florence.
And then last I'm going to add a little spoon of Dijon.
-Dijon's got a nice little kind of kick to it, acidity,
which I think is quite important here.
But also a bit of pepperiness in there,
you know, a little bit of bite.
It doesn't overwhelm the delicate aromatic flavours?
No, absolutely not.
No. I think it really marries in well.
And now all we need to do is place our lamb...
-Oh, be careful.
-..onto its serving platter.
-Here we are.
Carefully does it, Anna.
A crown for the crowned heads, I suppose.
-It is staying in position.
It hasn't kind of...
Don't speak too soon, Michael!
Don't jinx me!
OK, so I'm just going to put a little bit of the salsa verde
-all around here.
-You're actually putting it on the...
Well, because that means you get a bit of flavour
on each kind of lamb chop,
inspired by the Italian lamb chops that Beatrice had.
Interesting, though, even though it was an Italian dish, of course,
it had to be in French on a Victorian menu.
They were obsessed with menus in French.
Weren't they just?
OK. So there you have it -
stuffed crown of lamb with salsa verde.
Wow! How do you attack this?
Well, I'm going to carve it.
-You're not just going to rip all of them out?
Oh, look at that.
Look at that! That looks beautiful.
Now, do you want to grab yourself some tools there to be able to...
-Oh, I will, I will.
-..cut into this.
-There you go. I'm just going to pick it up.
Oh, yes, please do.
I'm going to mix it in the salsa verde,
I'm going to make sure I've got some of that lovely stuffing.
The meat's wonderful. The stuffing...
And the salsa verde, I think that's...
That's a real flavour of the Mediterranean, but...
the lamb is terrific.
Mm! You know, Princess Beatrice...
Excuse me a second. ANNA LAUGHS
Princess Beatrice had 14 dishes at her wedding breakfast...
..but this must have been the winner of all of them.
'Not just a winning dish, but a crowning glory.
'The Victorians knew a thing or two about creating a real spectacle
'at a wedding.'
That's certainly true of the wedding cake.
The tradition of the grand nuptial centrepiece
owes a lot to the royal family,
as historian Dr Annie Gray explains.
It was Queen Victoria who helped to set us on the path
towards wanting show stopper wedding cakes.
So I've come here to rural Leicestershire to meet Fiona Cairns,
who is perhaps the queen of royal wedding cakes,
so that we can find out together
exactly how influential Queen Victoria's cake
and those of her children were in helping to create what today
we would think of as a right royal masterpiece.
Luxury cake maker Fiona Cairns made
the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding cake in 2011.
-Do come in.
And she went back to the history books to begin her design.
When Victoria and Albert married in 1840
the world was fascinated,
and pictures of the wedding circulated across the Empire.
It must have been really interesting from a sort of public point of view
because Queen Victoria was a character in whom
there was so much public interest,
so when she got married and there was this cake and there were
illustrations of it...
Here we have an illustration.
It was huge, wasn't it?
Three yards across.
-I don't think this really does it justice, does it?
-No, it doesn't.
The cake reportedly weighed 300 pounds.
And they made lots of them, so there were plenty to go round.
Something like this would be mind-boggling for the average British person at that point,
when two-thirds of people were living below the poverty line.
While the public couldn't copy the size,
the design help set trends that continue today.
The use of white icing, or royal icing as it became known,
was unusual at the time.
You see a progression through the Victorian era.
Trying to buy different grains of sugar is quite difficult still at this point.
-And only for the rich.
Victoria's love of extravagant decoration
included very specific flowers.
Queen Victoria's chef, Francatelli,
when he wrote his guide to confectionery
said that the finest designs for wedding cakes
were orange blossoms in white icing.
And Kate Middleton continued the tradition set by Victoria
by choosing 17 varieties of flowers,
including orange blossom,
which symbolises eternal love and marriage.
Each flower was made by hand.
It should come away... That's it.
And then using your cocktail stick,
thin the petals out.
In nature, they're always slightly different, so it's not an excuse,
I just think that they actually look better.
-It's more natural.
It's very fiddly, this, isn't it?
-It really is.
-You've just got to be very precise.
That's beautiful. Your first orange blossom.
-It looks like a flower.
Altogether, Fiona made 900 flowers,
each variety adding symbolism.
Myrtle, which was carried in all the royal bouquets
since Queen Victoria.
Lily of the valley, which was so prominent for
Kate and William's wedding,
and was on the top of the wedding cake.
And then we surrounded the entire base of the cake
with the ivy leaves,
which mean fidelity, friendship, marriage.
Gosh, so it really just told enormous amounts of stories
and said so much.
-I wonder how many people realised quite
the level of intricacy and meaning within it.
Fiona has been creating bespoke cakes for over 25 years,
along with design director Rachel Eardley.
But a royal cake commission is something rather special.
I've got to ask,
what happened when you got the call to make William and Catherine's wedding cake?
Sends shivers down my spine now, I must say.
-Yes, it was...
-It was the most amazing honour
and I would say the beginning of sleepless nights for me,
right up until the wedding day.
We were briefed by Catherine, weren't we?
-She had a very, very...
Not just for our cake, but for the wedding itself,
-for everything to work together as a whole....
-..as a story.
-She wanted something quite romantic.
Flowers were very important.
She didn't want it to be ostentatious at all
or straight up and down.
Catherine said, "Could you please go into Buckingham Palace to see where
"the cake will actually sit,
"to look at the architectural detail
"and try to incorporate that?"
So do you see the garlands on the ceiling,
which actually we did incorporate onto the cake.
I think that's brilliant.
She really did put a lot of thought into exactly
what she wanted to say with this.
When they showed us around,
they thought it would be nice on a Queen Anne table,
and we had to explain that it would be
the weight of a good man, really.
And the royal couple cut the eight-tiered cake
at the wedding lunch,
where guests drank champagne
and enjoyed another royal favourite - canapes.
What you really need at a wedding buffet are canapes...
What's the rule of thumb?
Minimum of probably seven per person, for a reception.
Gosh! Well, at the royal wedding breakfast
they have a lot more than that.
17,000 canapes at Charles and Camilla's...
I heard that it was 10,000 at Will and Kate's.
Exactly. I mean, some of them...
You know, eggs and cress sandwiches?
That isn't very imaginative, is it?
-I know. But who doesn't love egg and cress sandwiches?
-All right, all right.
What they did have was miniature Cornish pasties.
He's the Duke of Cornwall, of course.
Miniature Cornish pasties.
Mm. What are these other two?
Well, I believe these are from Will and Kate's wedding.
So we have duck liver pate here with cornichons,
and honey and wholegrain mustard glazed sausages.
Why do they put sausages in goo?
-Oh, everybody loves a bit of honey and mustard.
Now what are you going to do?
You're going to do one from Kate and William's wedding.
Yes, I am. I'm going to do asparagus and watercress mini tartlets.
So these are like mini little quiches.
So the first thing that I'm going to do is make the custard.
So, I take the watercress and put it into a blender with the cream.
-Got to be cream.
And then we're just going to pulse that.
Good British ingredient.
Yeah, that was the thing, isn't it?
All of these royal things these days,
they've got to be British ingredients.
And watercress is quintessentially British, isn't it?
It is, yeah. But that's what people want to see.
That's what people want to eat.
-OK, so I'm going to take this off and pour this into our bowl.
Add the blade, you know, for extra flavour.
Yeah, yeah. A bit of iron.
-Scrape this down.
You don't really want to waste any of this
cos there's a lot of flavour in here.
-The delicious pepperiness that you get from watercress.
Let's scrape this down.
-So, next what I'm going to do is add my eggs.
-How many eggs?
-It's one whole egg and one yolk.
Then I'm going to add Gruyere cheese.
That's Gruyere for the flavour, for the bite.
Yes. There's a lovely kind of a saltiness off the cheese,
which is, I think, quite important.
-A pinch of salt.
I'm going to give that a little mix.
And then just what I'm going to add to this really quickly is some sliced asparagus.
So I'm going to add it in with this mix.
So as opposed to me having to add it in bit by bit in stages,
you can just do it in one go.
-So I'm just going to slice some asparagus now.
This is, for me, so simple.
There's nothing complicated here.
I mean, the hardest thing is just cutting a bit of asparagus.
Everything else is just...
Yeah, but it wouldn't be a bit of asparagus.
I mean, if you were doing,
even with some other chefs, 17,000...
-How long does that take?
It takes a long time, and it's all about logistics.
It's all about organisation.
Because you've got...
If you're the chef in charge of a canape party like that,
you've got to have eyes in the back of your head.
In what sense? It must be like a kind of industrial production line, isn't it?
Well, yes, but you've got lots of different leaders in charge of
lots of different things, so that all the canapes go out in one swoop,
at the same time, because nobody wants a little trickle of them.
It has to be like this lovely wave
of canapes flying out of your kitchen.
So, you know, you need to be on your A game.
So, we're going to spoon these into our tartlets now.
So this is just a nice, crisp short pastry that I've made,
rolled out very thin and then baked in between two little metal moulds.
Just spooning a nice amount of your mix in here.
I mean, all the work is just done.
It's just so easy.
We're going to pop it into the oven now
for probably about 12 minutes.
And is there an optimum size for a canape,
in terms of how they're handled, how they're eaten?
Really, I think a canape should be one or two bites. That's ideal.
Because you want to be able to, you know,
have your drink in your hand, chat to people.
And the bigger the canape is, the more of a meal it is,
and it makes it more difficult to kind of just effortlessly
-swan around and have a nice evening.
I think it's two, isn't it?
I mean, all those etiquette people say it should be two bites,
so that you haven't got your mouth full if somebody important comes along
at the wedding reception and you need to speak to them...
-HE MUMBLES Like that.
-This is true. This is very true.
That looks really nice, doesn't it?
Now, I'm going to finish these off
with a little bit of asparagus tips to go on top,
just like that.
That looks nice, doesn't it?
So, you'd bake these in the oven,
150 degrees for about 12 minutes.
-So, not too long.
-Not too long.
No, super-quick. They don't take any length of time.
But we already have these ready to go...
-..for the final stage.
-I'm rather glad about that. Final stage? Aren't they finished?
-Final stage. No.
So, on top I'm just going to crumble
just a little bit of feta on top,
and it gives it this kind of nice fresh zinginess.
-Feta's quite sharp, isn't it?
-There's a nice acidity to a feta.
And I think it just goes really well with asparagus and watercress.
Now, are these designed to be eaten hot or cold?
Both. That's a very good question, actually.
You can totally eat them hot or cold.
-And there you have it.
-Are you just putting them out for me, or...?
Yes, they're just for you, Michael.
-That looks rather nice.
Oh, yes. Very nice.
HE CLEARS THROAT
Seven, come on.
-You said seven.
-There's your daily allowance of canapes.
MICHAEL LAUGHS OK. Right.
I should've eaten it in two, shouldn't I?
Go on, have one. Have one. Come on.
-You did it the proper way.
Perfect for a picnic, perfect for a wedding.
Absolutely. What a winner.
Dainty delights for a lunchtime wedding buffet.
And these ingredients really are Britain on a plate -
asparagus and watercress and...
British lobster is another popular choice for a royal wedding breakfast.
Delicious, versatile and what's more,
they're amongst the tastiest in the world,
as Paul Ainsworth has been finding out.
Padstow in Cornwall has a long tradition of lobster potting.
It's home to a small fleet of fishing boats
and to chef Paul.
British lobster is world-class and it tastes delicious.
And I am so lucky in Cornwall I've got it right here on my doorstep.
Local fisherman Johnny Murt has been working these waters
his whole life...
-All right, Johnny?
-All right, Paul.
-How are you, mate?
-Very good. Yourself?
-Yeah, very good.
..and he knows just how to source the very best Cornish crustaceans.
So, Johnny, I can see straightaway
they're exactly how I'd love to buy lobsters, that sort of size.
-They are crackers.
-There you go.
It wasn't always this prestigious ingredient that it is now, was it?
Yeah. Certainly on the other side of the Atlantic,
the American lobster,
100 years ago, they were rioting in prisons for being fed lobster
three times in one week. Absolute trash food.
Our British native lobsters,
especially beautiful Cornish lobsters,
they are far superior, for me,
than the Canadian and the American lobster.
We've got a fantastic resource in this country, all around the coast.
I don't think we should be importing an inferior product.
The modern royal family are all about protecting
as well as showcasing the best of British.
Prince Philip is a huge supporter of the shellfish industry,
and met Johnny in 2014.
So, Johnny, what was Prince Philip like?
He's a lovely chap.
Yeah, he was really amusing, very friendly.
And the thing that myself and the other fishermen got out of it was
he knew so much about sustainable fishing.
Yeah, he really, really knew his stuff.
He had a tour of the hatchery...
I hear he adopted a baby lobster for Prince George.
So there is a Cornish lobster then
maybe in the sea right now with royal credentials.
Yeah, it would be a valuable lobster to catch if we could identify it.
Paul knows Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne.
Each chose an exquisite lobster dish for their weddings.
But he's got a slightly simpler recipe.
Today, we're going to cook Cornish lobster on top of
a toasted English muffin,
caper butter, delicious poached egg,
and some beautiful dressed watercress.
Right, let's get cracking.
Now, our lobster is out the shell,
I've got a pan on warming.
Meanwhile, I'm just quickly going to make this delicious butter,
and in it we're going to add some capers, some gherkin...
a spoonful of mustard.
We're just going to take some parsley..
..and now very gently
we're just going to mix all those ingredients together.
We've made our butter, now we're going to roast our lobster.
Butter in the pan...
..straight in...like that.
We're just going to baste that lovely nut-brown butter
and just cook nice and slowly, not too fast.
Now, lobster in the royal household is very popular
and in a lot of recipes
and been served at a lot of banquets and weddings.
In particular in 1973,
I know that Princess Anne had lobster and partridge at her wedding.
We're just going to pull that off to the side now
and just let it rest in the pan.
So, poached eggs.
We've got our eggs ready in the bowl.
Beautiful. Good stir.
Paul poaches the eggs and toasts an English muffin.
OK, we're moments away from plating up.
Muffins are lovely and crispy out the toaster.
Our shallot butter that we made earlier,
just over those lovely hot crispy muffins.
Let it melt right in.
Now our lobster.
Claw, just in half,
this lovely tail.
And you can see in the middle it's just slightly transparent,
which means it's beautifully cooked, resting it on the muffin...
just like that.
Out with our eggs,
just on top of that lovely lobster.
Next, add more of the lobster.
Just look at this.
We just finish it with this lovely butter.
And that right there...
that's what Great Britain is all about -
English watercress, Cornish lobster, Cornish eggs,
a beautiful English toasted muffin with some lovely caper butter.
It doesn't get any better than that.
For me, what a fitting way to treat such a prestigious ingredient
such as lobster.
Only the very best will do for a royal wedding,
and for the team of 20 royal chefs behind the scenes
at the royal palaces,
it's one of the most challenging of regal occasions.
This is Darren McGrady,
who worked as a chef in the royal kitchens from 1982 until 1997.
Chef for the Queen, Prince Philip,
and later for Princess Diana.
The period when there were two royal weddings, I think,
but you were outside Princess Diana's, weren't you?
You were part of the crowd.
But for Prince Andrew, you were cheffing then.
-How big an operation was it for the royal kitchens?
It was a huge operation.
You know, people think it's just preparing that wedding breakfast,
but it's not. You have everyone that's staying at the palace,
all of the staff need feeding, so you have 300 staff to feed,
as well as preparing the wedding breakfast
and the cake ceremony and everything.
Andrew and Sarah's wedding, how did the day go?
What were you and the other chefs cooking
and who for at different times of the day?
Well, the day starts at six o'clock in the morning,
and for the chefs you've got staff to look after.
So there's breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 300 people,
just to begin with.
And then you have all of the guests,
or a lot of the guests staying with Her Majesty,
so they need breakfast trays,
the ladies' trays in their room,
the gentleman all come down for breakfast.
So all that needs serving and preparing.
And then, of course, there's the canapes
and the appetisers, and then the wedding breakfast.
And then to sort of end that,
there's actually the cutting of the cake ceremony.
You must have been working at absolute full throttle.
It was a long day.
It was a really busy day,
but everyone sort of felt part of the royal wedding.
You felt part of it
and just wanted to be there.
The centrepiece of any wedding is the cake, isn't it?
And particularly for royal weddings because in the past at least,
the size of the cake was meant to indicate
the importance of the occasion.
It was. I mean, they used to be nine-foot high
and weighing 800 pounds.
But Prince Andrew's was only five tiers.
And we didn't make those cakes,
we didn't make the royal cakes.
Tradition was the sort of army, the navy, the air force,
would make them.
And Prince Andrew's wedding cake was actually delivered to the palace,
each individual tier, in a separate track,
just in case there was an accident.
So the whole cake wasn't wiped out.
So they didn't have to make the whole cake all over again. Yes.
But at the end of it, you must be been knackered.
You're absolutely tired out and you can't wait for them to go off on honeymoon.
And when Andrew and Sarah got married,
we were actually invited out into the forecourt
to wave them off and it was, "Good, go, we need a break."
Darren McGrady, thanks very much.
When it came to the cake ceremony at the most recent royal wedding,
there were two to choose from.
Not only the official cake,
but an alternative chosen by Prince William
because it brought back such happy childhood memories.
It was the chocolate biscuit cake.
And the woman who knows how to make the cake is former chef
to Charles and Diana, Carolyn Robb.
Prince William was seven and his brother Harry four
when Carolyn started working for the royal family.
The biscuit cake was such a hit with the young princes,
William decided he had to have it at his wedding.
Today, I'm going to make chocolate biscuit cake,
which is a real favourite of mine.
I loved making it with my mum when I was little,
and when I cooked for Prince William and Prince Harry
when they were small,
I really enjoyed making it with them.
And today, I'm going to have fun doing it with Mandy, my daughter.
This version isn't quite on the scale of the one made for William's wedding.
The first step is melting butter, chocolate drops, cocoa powder,
golden syrup and vanilla.
Now comes the fun bit.
This is the bit Mandy's been waiting for, isn't it?
You get to help me break the biscuits.
Really simple, we have some big chunky bits,
you can have some broken quite finely.
It'll work however you do it.
The royal wedding version contained a staggering 1,700 biscuits.
Just a bit larger than the one William liked to help make.
When Prince William and Prince Harry were small,
they used to enjoy coming into the kitchen and we'd bake things together.
They loved breaking the biscuits and we always used to think of
different things we could mix into the biscuits as well.
One more biscuit to go.
Just give this a good mix.
Quite good to get the biscuits mixed in first,
that cools the chocolate down.
Next, Carolyn adds chopped apricots,
marshmallows and chocolate chunks.
Right, I think that's mixed now.
Now we're going to spoon it into here.
As you can see, it's still quite chunky, which is absolutely fine,
and you just want to press it down really well.
This recipe is so simple,
anyone and everyone really can make it.
All I'm going to do is neatly cover over the top like that,
and that now goes in the fridge.
As the cake is left to set, Carolyn starts the glaze,
which is made of chocolate and butter.
All I have done here is melt some dark chocolate
and I have some softened butter here,
which I'm going to pop in with the chocolate
and just mix the two together.
When Prince William and Harry were small,
there were quite a few regular treats that we made together.
Little individual cupcakes were always a favourite,
special little meringue animals.
These little tiny treacle tarts we have here,
they were Prince Harry's favourites,
so I used to make little tiny ones,
just this size, the size of a 50p piece, and on one occasion,
he came into the kitchen to ask me for one,
so I suggested that he should go and ask his mother and he scampered off
and came back a few minutes later
with a wonderful little piece of paper
on which Princess Diana had written, "Mummy says it's OK."
She was such a wonderful mother and had such an amazing sense of humour
and it was very clear that they absolutely adored her,
so that's a note that I've always kept and treasured.
Carolyn spent 13 years working for the royal household,
preparing plenty of traditional home-cooked dishes.
But it's the chocolate treats that children remember.
Right, try not to leave any gaps.
And once you've done that, really, the world's your oyster
as to what you do next.
Mandy and I are going to do this together.
Mum, are we doing a castle?
It's a bit like a castle, isn't it?
And this is where children can let their imaginations run free as well.
I think that's enough.
Next I'm going to get my chocolate piping bag.
This is all very informal.
I'm not going to do anything fancy,
just some lines, back and forth.
Then it's time for a few finishing touches.
I think that's about enough decoration for one cake.
This is a real chocolate extravaganza.
Chocolate has always been a royal favourite,
and many recipes were recorded over 100 years ago
by Buckingham Palace kitchen maid Mildred Nicholls in her recipe book.
There are puddings for weddings and even wedding anniversaries,
Hey, Anna, look at this. This is Mildred Nicholls' recipe book.
She was a kitchen maid, pastry chef,
in Buckingham Palace in the early years of the 1900s.
But this recipe is a particularly poignant one.
It goes back to the days of Queen Victoria,
who you will remember was married to Prince Albert.
Yeah, and they were very much in love.
Very much in love, but he died at the age of 42, very early.
But every year after that,
Queen Victoria insisted on marking their wedding anniversary
with a big dinner.
And this recipe in Mildred's book comes from
the 57th anniversary dinner of their wedding.
He'd been dead a long time.
And it's called Pouding Sax Weimar.
And you are going to do...
-I'm going to do...
-..recipe out of the book.
I've never seen a pudding like this before.
It's kind of like a mix between a kind of souffle
and a sponge and even an odd kind of nod to tiramisu.
Like, if I put a little bit of coffee in this now,
you'd feel like it would be a tiramisuey flavour.
So, first of all,
what I'm going to do is the first step
is going to be to whisk my egg whites.
I'm going to put in my sugar and bring them to
nice kind of stiff peaks.
Stiff peaks is what you're looking for, is it?
-So, this is ahead of its time, you reckon, this dish?
Well, yeah, I think it is really quite unique.
It's the idea that we don't have flour in this,
that we've actually got these finger biscuits
that have been put into a food processor.
Even if you give them a little smell...
-..you'll see, you can imagine
the difference between that and just flour.
-There's no comparison.
It's like an extra, extra flavour in it.
That's where that kind of tiramisu feeling comes from.
So, these are almost done.
It's rather like the start of a souffle, isn't it?
Well, exactly, that's it. It is quite similar to a souffle.
So this is just some butter and sugar creamed together.
-And into this I'm going to add...
And I think this is another thing that makes the recipe quite unique,
I'm going to add the grated chocolate into it.
But it never kind of breaks down and it stays like whole little kind of
pockets of chocolate deliciousness, once it's cooked.
-So it doesn't completely lose itself in the sauce?
No. So it stays kind of separate.
You'll know what I'm talking about when you get to try it.
I will, I will, I will.
OK, so I'm going to add the chocolate in...
..then my eggs.
And actually, could you crack me one whole egg there?
-I can do that.
-Here we go.
There we go. What am I doing?
-And then straight in.
-I did that rather well, don't you think? You're a natural. Yeah.
This is a really rich pudding...
-..and when you think what else they had at that dinner.
"Potage a la cressy, potage..."
There's two soups.
"Quenelles, le saumon en tranches sauce persil."
So, they had salmon and sole and ham and lamb...
All these things.
And on the side, just in case they were a bit peckish,
they had hot and cold roast fowls, cold beef and salad on the side...
-They must have...
-..before they got to the puddings.
They must have starved themselves for a week before it.
I think not, somehow.
Oh, yes. You can see the bits of chocolate in there.
You can see the bits of chocolate.
And then very similar to when you would be making a souffle,
I'm just going to take a spoon of the egg white
and I'm just going to kind of beat that in to kind of
lighten up this mix, because it is kind of heavyish.
And then you finish with the biggest dollop at the end.
-Now, this is a professional technique, is it?
So this creates a lovely, light, light, moist pudding.
And the fact that we cook it in a tray with some water
and it's kind of like semi-steamed in the oven...
-..creates a really moist, delicious, special, unique cake.
Because it's been folded gently and then it gets cooked gently.
It was a big dinner, this.
All those courses, and indeed all the royal family were there
at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
All the family except, of course, her eldest son,
who was to become Edward VII,
who, needless to say, was at the theatre,
ANNA GASPS possibly with one of his ladies,
-but I don't know.
I'm going to pop this into a piping bag
so that I can pipe it evenly into each one of the pots.
-Fill it all up.
-all of it.
-It looks rich, it looks gooey,
it's wonderfully speckled with chocolate.
And then with a little snip of the scissors...
-Then to pipe in.
So, you don't want to fill it up all the way,
you just want to kind of leave just a quarter of it free.
-This way it's got space to rise up.
-And it will rise above the mould as well.
Oh, will it? Oh, right.
-That's going to look really impressive, isn't it?
Yeah. So you can service pudding cold or warm.
I do think it is particularly nice warm.
Yeah, those little pots are lined with something, aren't they?
Yes, they're buttered.
Well spotted there, Michael.
-No flies on you.
-Nothing gets past me. No.
They're brushed with some butter and then some sugar is rolled around them as well.
Cook these in a tray with some hot water in it,
at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
Now, you are going to take this to the oven...
-..and you will find some that I've already made
from earlier on and bring them back. Thanks.
-They're safe with me.
-Here we go.
Oh, Anna, look at these little babies.
-They have risen the way you said they would.
-There we go.
-They look perfect.
-There we go.
-OK, so, I'm going to make the chocolate sauce.
Now, this chocolate sauce is foolproof.
It's so easy. You have your water,
put it onto a nice high heat and all you add is your sugar...
..your cocoa powder...
..and the trickiest bit of all, add your chocolate...
..and then you just bring it up to the boil,
and then you have a lovely glossy chocolate sauce.
As simple as that?
Simple as that.
Instant. Well, almost instant.
Just pour some of our chocolate sauce in there.
-That chocolate sauce was really quick and easy, wasn't it?
Shiny and glossy and...
-Let's have a sniff.
-OK, come on.
-Let's see what they look like.
This is the part that us chefs often get very nervous about.
I bet. But it's not going to stick, is it?
You've put butter on the inside.
-Isn't that going to make sure...?
-Hopefully not, Michael.
Look at that.
A bit of chocolate on the top.
Oh! Take a look at that.
-Here we have it -
-Pouding Sax Weimar.
Now, you do it first,
I don't want to ruin the confection.
-Is it done, is it just right?
-Yes, it looks beautiful.
Get some of that lovely chocolate sauce...
I seem to have got a bigger piece than yours.
It really is... I've never tasted anything like it.
-It is very unique.
It's light, though, isn't it?
It's light, the lovely little secret pockets of chocolate in there,
finished with the chocolate sauce.
Yeah, it's nice to remember Prince Albert, I suppose.
Oh, that pulls on your heartstrings.
It does a bit, yeah.
A pudding with a story of love and loss
to end this programme about the food for royal weddings.
See you next time.
Michael Buerk is joined by chef Anna Haugh in the magnificent kitchen of one of Britain's grandest stately homes to celebrate food served at royal weddings. Anna is inspired by an Italian lamb dish served at the wedding of Queen Victoria's youngest daughter.
Food historian Dr Annie Gray meets Fiona Cairns, the baker who created the official wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The former chef to Charles and Diana cooks the chocolate biscuit cake that Prince William chose as an alternative cake for his wedding.
Plus the programme unearths a recipe that has been hidden in the royal archive for over 100 years. It's for a poignant pudding served at a wedding anniversary to a widowed queen.