Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011, was without a doubt the wedding of the century. It was only fitting that the royals would have not one, but two wedding cakes to celebrate their big day!
One of the couple's cakes was a traditional multi-tiered fruit cake by Fiona Cairns. The second, was a nod to William's childhood with a chocolate cake. In a new interview, Barry Colenso, the man behind the confection tells HELLO! about the recipe for their wedding day, plus making cakes for Queen Elizabeth and late Queen Mother, along with the perfect healthy gift for chocolate lovers everywhere this Christmas.
William and Kate pictured greeting the public on their wedding day in 2011 Photo: Getty Images
HELLO!: How did you come up with the recipe for William and Kate's chocolate wedding cake?
Barry Colenso: The McVitie's Cake Company and I worked together in making William and Kate's cake, but the actual recipe came from the Palace. It was based on one of Prince William's favorite afternoon tea cakes from when he was younger, a classic Tiffin cake, which was a fairly simple recipe. Although the McVitie's Cake Company and I developed it into a wedding cake, we stuck closely to the guidelines issued from Buckingham Palace to make sure it was just right.
H!: The cake was inspired by William's childhood favorite. Describe the taste of the one you created?
BC: It was rich, indulgent and creamy with a really snappy texture which came from the Rich Tea biscuits.
H!: What was it like being tasked with such a royal responsibility?
BC: It was an amazing experience. Extremely stressful – but enjoyable too. It was just such an incredible honor to be involved.
H!: Tell us a bit about the process of creating the wedding cake.
BC: The Tiffin cake itself was pretty straightforward as the recipe was issued from the Palace, but the extras and decorations were a different story. The McVitie's team and I worked 24/7 for 29 straight days to make sure we made something spectacular, and that met Prince William and Kate's brief. It was a tough task as all of the decorations and flowers were based on different concepts which had to be approved by the Palace. Once approved, each white chocolate flower took over 6 hours to make by hand. The techniques used were completely revolutionary.
H!: Did the couple visit you while you were making it?
BC: William did right at the very end and it was a very humbling experience. He is so kind and grateful. It was a very special day.
As well as for William and Kate's wedding, Barry has made cakes for the Queen and the Queen Mother Photo: Rex
H!: You have made cakes for the Queen and the Queen Mother. Can you tell us about the cakes you made?
BC: Both the Queen and the Queen Mother were amazing individuals. I made the Queen Mother's 85th birthday cake and presented it to her on the stage of the Drury Lane Theatre. It was a rich chocolate cake, and I topped it with the logo from the musical 42nd Street. The cake for the Queen was a very grand cake I made on behalf of Lord Porchester. It had a horse on top, and I was asked to present it to her. I will never forget that day.
Barry said that making William and Kate's chocolate wedding cake was "a humbling experience"
H!: What makes an excellent chocolate?
BC: Firstly, ingredients are key. Top quality ingredients are a must. After that, the tempering process must be spot on. The heating and cooling of the chocolate is what gives it a glossy shine and crisp snap – all signs of a great chocolate. Most of all, a Chocolatier must have the imagination and innovation to create something unique. This is what makes an excellent chocolate stand out from an average one.
H!: What should we think of when buying chocolates for loved ones?
BC: The trick to buying for someone is to really think about whom you are buying them for and what their preference is. Some people have rich, dark, decadent tastes whereas others prefer something that's light, fruity and creamy. I also think it's really important to buy fresh chocolate as this can make all the difference. The good thing about MuscleFood.com's pralines is that we've only just started production for the Christmas push, so you know if you give them to the gym fan in your life, they'll be fresh and delicious.
The chocolatier has collaborated with MuscleFood.com to make chocolates that are low in fat and high in protein
H!: It's claimed the pralines you've developed with MuscleFood.com are better for you than regular chocolates – how is this possible?
BC: To create a "better for you chocolate" I had to significantly reduce the sugar content. This was tough, but after many painstaking attempts we achieved success as I managed to create a new kind of chocolate made with Maltitol which has 90 percent of the sweetness of sugar. This reduced the sugar content to roughly 3 grams per 100 grams. The other thing that's very important to the MuscleFood.com customer is protein, so I came up with a way to add whey protein isolate to the chocolate and also the peanut butter praline without making the end result gritty or obviously packed with protein. Finally, I worked closely with MuscleFood.com to ensure that I only used 100 percent all natural flavors and ingredients so we could class them as being "clean." The process was a challenge, but the end result was definitely worth it.
H!: Does the high protein content affect their taste?
BC: They are very rich and decadent but I would be lying if I said no. It does make the chocolate quite dense - a little coarser and firmer than a normal chocolate. Ideally we wouldn't have that but, to guarantee 20 grams of protein per 100 grams; it’s a small price to pay.