Long live the Queen!
Living in London for more than 5 years now, made me realise the importance of the British Monarchy, and the Queen in particular. This year, Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday and she’s seen the world changing remarkably, witnessing great triumphs and terrible tragedies. In her first Christmas broadcast in 1952, she asked the people of the Commonwealth and the Empire to pray as she prepares to dedicate herself to their service at her Coronation. Loved by the people and becoming a symbol the British society identifies with, I couldn’t go past it without writing a piece on this celebratory event.
[button url=”#” new_tab=”false” size=”medium” style=”solid” color=”false” light=”false”]Fun facts about our Queen[/button]
- Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history (64 years and counting), followed by Victoria (63 years) and George III (59 years);
- The Queen has made 97 State visits all over the world with the first in Norway (June 1955) and the 97th in Germany (June 2015);
- The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis and she feeds them herself;
- Elizabeth II posted her first tweet on 24 October 2014;
- The Queen has worked a 40-50 hour week since her Coronation. And still does, at 90.
I became quite interested in the British monarchy kitchen and after some research I found out that if the Queen is at Buckingham Palace, there are usually 10 chefs on duty in the royal kitchen. The royal palate hasn’t change much even though England has grown more culturally diverse. There are many classical French influences, especially for state banquets and balls. This is partially because Queen Elizabeth has the final say on all menus, and the food at Buckingham Palace reflects her preferences. Though meals can be simple, the raw ingredients are always first rate. The royal warrant is the royal seal and can be exhibited directly on chosen purveyors’ packaging. Talk about a great marketing tool!
For the Queen’s birthday, I decided to prepare a delicious and scrumptious but delicate dessert, she uses to have at official dinners thrown at the Palace: Iced Praline and Amaretto Souffle with Poached Pear. The richness of the caramel is toned down by the iced praline and Amaretto liqueur, while the aromatic pear infused in cinnamon crowns the dessert in a beautiful harmony.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
Iced praline and Amaretto souffle with poached pear
Recipe adapted from "Eating royally" by Darren McGrady.
- Vegetable oil - 1 tsp
- Granulated sugar - 1 and a half cups
- Sliced raw almonds, pecans, hazelnuts - 1 cup
- Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
- Water - 6 tbsp
- Egg whites - 6
- Amaretto liqueur - 1/4 cup
- Heavy cream/whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks form - 1 and a half cups
- Granulated sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 2 cups
- Cinamon stick - 1
- Large ripe pear - 1
- Chocolate sauce
- Milk chocolate - 50g
- Whipping cream - 50ml
- Superfoods Bioglan Raw Cacao - 1 tsp
- For the praline, lightly grease a baking sheet with the vegetable oil. In a heavily-bottomed saucepan, melt the sugar, stirring until it reaches a deep caramel colour. Remove the caramelized sugar from the heat, and add the nuts. Stir to combine, and pour the sugared nuts onto the greased baking sheet, spreading them out into a thin layer. Allow to cool.
- For the souffle, bring the sugar and water to a rolling boil until the melted sugar syrup reaches the "soft ball stage" (the consistency of corn syrup is a good proxy). While the syrup is boiling, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Carefully pour the hot syrup onto the egg whites slowly and continue whisking. Fold the amaretto into the whipped cream and stir until combined. Mix with the egg. Place half the cooled praline into a ziplock bag, and pound it with a rolling pin to make tiny pieces. Fold about 1 cup of the crushed praline into the souffle. Reserve the rest for garnish. Line six ramekins with parchment paper on the outside of the ramekin and at least 1 inch above the lip. Staple or use a rubber band to hold the parchment in place. Spoon the souffle mix into the ramekins and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- For the pear, bring the sugar, water, and cinnamon stick to a boil for 3 minutes. Peel and cut the pear into 6 equal segments. Immerse the segments in the warm syrup, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
- For the sauce, melt the chocolate at bain-marie, remove from the heat and add the whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of Superfoods Bigolan Raw cacao.
- Once the souffles have fully frozen, carefully remove the parchment paper before serving and place each souffle on a dish. Place a wedge of poached pear next to the souffle and sprinkle the plate with of the crushed praline. Break the remaining praline into large shards to decorate the souffle. Add the chocolate sauce.
I’m taking part in Bioglan Superfoods new campaign to superpowered the lives of women who are a Go Getter like me! For more tips or recipe inspiration, head to the Bioglan Superfoods hub to find out more or check out their Instagram orTwitter for daily inspiration.