Monthly Archives: April 2011

'Fruitcake and Biscuits: Food Fit for Royalty' by Chef Kyleigh Beach

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been excited for the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton since their engagement was announced last October.  Now that it’s finally here I have two big questions.  The first dominates morning television and gossip magazines across the world and is of course, “What will Kate wear?”  My second question is “What will they eat?” and is possibly only interesting to food and history geeks such as myself.  The details of the royal reception are being kept a secret, but there are plenty of details about the wedding cake, or rather, cakes.
William and Kate’s wedding cake will be a multi-tiered fruitcake decorated with white and ivory icing and a dizzying array of edible flowers, from the English rose to the Irish shamrock.  Fruitcake is apparently a very traditional English choice.  The second cake is William’s groom cake, another English tradition.  His cake will be an unbaked cake of crushed McVitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits, butter, and dark chocolate.  The royal family has provided McVitie’s with a “secret” recipe for the cake that William enjoyed as a child and it will be produced by head development chef Paul Courtney.  No pressure, Chef.  Just a cake for the future King of England’s wedding made out of one of Britain’s most iconic foods. 
            So what are McVitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits?  They must be pretty darn special if the future King of England insists his groom’s cake be made out of them.  Turns out they are about as basic as a cookie can get, and hardly a cookie by American standards.  They are light, slightly sweet, cracker-like cookies that are meant to dipped into tea and still hold its shape.  This certainly doesn’t sound like a very exciting treat to me, but the Brits are nuts for them.  The addition of butter and dark chocolate can only improve the situation.  I may pick up a pack at my local Cost Plus World Market to enjoy with my tea at 4am on Friday morning while I watch the wedding of this century.  Cheers!