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October 07, 2023
Queen Maria of Romania was born Princess of Edinburgh to Queen Victoria's son Alfred and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, then later married Prince Ferdinand of Romania who eventually became king. She was a popular Monarch and this famous Romanian cake created in her name, will likely be found in any great grandmother's recipe notebook. The ingredients deliver a multitude of layered textures and flavours, with chewy walnuts and oozy buttercream topped with rich chocolate ganache.
Ingredients:For the Base:200g roasted chopped walnuts150g sugar65g plain flour9 egg yolks2 tsp baking powderPinch of salt
For the Buttercream:250g unsalted butter room temp200g sugar100g milk chocolate30g cocoa powder9 egg whites
For the Ganache:200g dark chocolate200g double cream
Method:For the Base:Preheat oven to 160c fan. Grease and line a 12 x 9” baking tray.
Separate the eggs and put the yolks aside for the mousse. Whisk the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar and continue beating until mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold the walnuts, flour and baking powder into the egg whites until all is incorporated. Spoon this into the prepared baking tray and using the back of a spoon evenly spread it out. Bake for appx 20 - 22 mins until slightly golden on top. Take out the oven and allow to cool fully.
For the Buttercream:Place the chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder and egg yolks in a bain marie and heat over a gentle flame whisking until you have a thick smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and allow to cool fully. In a large bowl beat the butter until soft and fluffy, then add the chocolate mixture, again beating until soft and fluffy.
Spread this evenly over the base of the cake. Place in the fridge and allow to set.
For the Ganache:Heat the cream gently over a small flame, do not let it boil. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Leave for 5 mins, then gently whisk together until fully combined.
Leave to cool, then spread evenly over the buttercream layer and place back in the fridge to set.
Gaby Van Clarke
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This Persian recipe is always brought out for their new year but can be enjoyed anytime by everyone as it’s vegan and gluten free. Using chickpea flour gives a delicate and crumbly melt-in-your-mouth biscuit with fragrant flavours of cardamom, pistachio and rose water carrying you eastward.
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