Making a royal wedding cake is a big undertaking and the chef behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s culinary centrepiece has given an insight into her preparations.
Baker and food writer Claire Ptak, who is creating an organic lemon elderflower cake for the bride and groom, posted the words “and so it begins” on Instagram on Tuesday alongside a picture showing six crates full to the brim with lemons.
The fresh lemons, in wooden crates from wholesale grocer Natoora, will be used for the royal cake as preparations intensify for the ceremony in Windsor on Saturday.
Whereas a traditional rich fruit cake can be made months ahead, this lighter cake option has to be made in the preceding days to ensure it stays fresh.
Kensington Palace said when details of the cake were unveiled: “Prince Harry and Ms Markle have asked Ms Ptak to create a lemon elderflower cake to incorporate the bright flavours of spring.”
The cake will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
Ms Ptak is the owner of the small, trendy Violet Bakery in Hackney, east London.
American former actress Ms Markle, who used to run her own lifestyle website, thetig.com, previously interviewed Ms Ptak for her blog.
Ms Ptak said she was thrilled to be chosen to bake the royal wedding cake, saying she shared the couple’s values on “food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavour”.
California-raised Ms Ptak formerly worked as a pastry chef for chef and food activist Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.
On moving to London she worked at The Anchor and Hope, a gastro pub near Waterloo station famed for its food, and undertook internships at St John and Moro restaurants.
She started her own business at a stall in Broadway Market, east London, cooking from home, before opening her organic bakery in 2010.
“I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding cake,” the chef said.
Ms Ptak might be taking inspiration from a lemony recipe which belongs to her mother after writing of Elisabeth Ptak’s “legendary lemon bars”.