Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Royal twist for Aussie comfort food

Australian chef Bill Granger (black jacket) in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace

The Queen's chefs have been given a masterclass in preparing classic Australian food by a celebrity cook from down under.

Bill Granger, famed for his relaxed television shows and simple dishes, was invited into Buckingham Palace's kitchens ahead of a glittering royal reception hosted by the Queen for leading Australians.

Guests include supermodel Elle Macpherson, actor Jason Donovan, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, musician Gabriella Cilmi and entertainer and artist Rolf Harris.

The restaurateur helped staff from the royal kitchens prepare two classic Australian sweet treats - lamington and pavlova.

They are a favourite comfort food for many Aussies but were given a palace makeover and transformed into sophisticated canapes that will be served at the palace reception tonight.

Looking at some pre-made inch square lamingtons - traditionally stale sponge cake covered in cocoa powder and rolled in desiccated coconut - he said: "This is fancy, when I was a child they would never be this small, this would be a doorstep."

The celebrity chef, surrounded by staff in the kitchen's pastry section, then cut slices of cake into cubes before dipping them in chocolate - an update on the recipe - then rolled them by hand in coconut.

He added: "Apparently they used to dip it in chocolate so it covered up the stale taste of the cake in the same way a bakewell tart was made from leftovers.

"If you didn't have the coconut, you would get chocolate all over your fingers."

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