Everyday Meals

Royal recipes: Chef shares how to make Queen Elizabeth’s favourite chocolate ganache cake

Royal Recipes: Chef recreates Queen Mary's chocolate cake

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The Royal Family follow many traditions, including the foods they eat. Sharing on BBC’s Royal Recipes, expert Anna Haugh shared the royals’ favourite chocolate birthday cake, which they reportedly eat on each family member’s birthday.

Presenter Michael Buerk explained: “When it comes to a chocolate birthday cake, it’s said the royals always use the same recipe, it’s been a hit since chef Gabriel Tschumi made it for the present Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary.

“It’s Tschumi’s chocolate cake.”

Gabriel Tschumi served as a chef to three British monarchs – Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V.

According to the presenter, this cake is one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite birthday treats.

He explained: “They’ve had it at all their birthdays but the Queen had this especially on her 80th birthday but with a special Highgrove twist to it, she had fruit from Highgrove actually in the cake.”


For the sponge:





For the ganache: 



High quality chocolate

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Start with a simmering pan of water and in a heatproof bowl, add the eggs and the sugar in.

Chef Anna Haugh explained: “It cooks very gently and as you can see, it’s full of air and that’s exactly what you want with a sponge cake.

“Once you can write the figure eight…you know that it’s ready.

“Now we’re going to sieve the flour and you sieve the flour so that it incorporates as much air as it possibly can.”

Then, fold the flour in with a whisk and add the melted butter to the bowl.

Anna added: “You’re making a kind of really light kind of batter consistency and you just need to make sure you’re absolutely folding from the bottom and lifting it up to the top.

“That way, you’re making sure you can’t see any more of the butter or the flour.”

Then take two round cake tins and divide the batter equally between both of them.

Bake the cake at 160 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Usually 160 degrees would be too cool to bake a cake but the trick of heating the ingredients over the hob makes it the perfect temperature.

The chef said: “Usually you would cook cakes like this at 180 degrees.”

Once baked, let cool before cutting the sponges into two, so that you have four equal layers.

Once cooled, it’s time to make the chocolate ganache.

Anna explained: “So we melt some cream and some sugar together in a pot and just when it comes to the boil, you pour it over your chocolate.

“You let it rest for a minute or so and whisk it.”

Start by adding a generous amount of ganache to the first layer of sponge, making sure to push it right to the edges.

Then start building up the cake, adding ganache to each layer of the cake until you reach the top.

Next, add a lot of ganache to the top of the cake as well as to the sides, making sure to cover the sponge completely. 

The sponge cake is then ready to serve.

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