“Happy Jubilee, Your Majesty! I’m so honored you could come by for lunch. How was your sandwich?”
“It was divine, thank you. Peanut butter has always been a favorite of mine.”
“I’m so glad! My daughter loves it. Could I interest you in a slice of Battenberg cake? I made it just for you.”
“How thoughtful! The royal chefs invented it to celebrate Philip’s grandmother’s marriage, you know. He’ll be pleased to know the Americans are enjoying it these days. Oh dear. And what is this?”
“It’s Battenberg cake! I couldn’t find marzipan, though, so I made a marshmallow fondant.”
“Marshmallow, you say? How … clever of you.”
“How is it?”
“Did Harry put you up to this?”
“This is an atrocity.”
“Well I suppose it does look like I wrapped it generously in Quilted Northern, but …”
“That does not begin to describe the horror. Your squares are rectangles, the cake looks nothing like a cohesive unit, and it is as heavy as the Imperial State Crown and only half as edible.”
“I’m sorry it isn’t up to your standards, ma’am, but I gave it a good try.”
” ‘Your majesty’ will do quite nicely. You may ring for my car now.”
And that’s how The Daring Bakers ruined my luncheon with the queen. In my head. The queen was actually rather busy this month with the Diamond Jubilee, which I’m certain is the reason she hasn’t responded to my lunch invitation.
This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was the Battenberg Cake, which as HRH informed me was invented to celebrate the marriage of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine to Prince Louis of Battenberg. It’s a small cake that’s supposed to be pink-and-white checkered to reflect the Battenburg markings. I didn’t have much luck at it.
The Daring Bakers require me to tell you this:
“Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.”
All of which is true except the “with ease” part. Although I guess it was pretty easy. It just wasn’t terribly successful. I’m unlikely to try it again, but here’s a Battenberg cake recipe, should you wish to try your hand at it. It’s a very pretty little cake when made correctly!