heston blumenthal royal wedding trifle

heston blumenthal royal wedding trifle

As soon as I saw this article detailing the Heston Blumenthal Royal Wedding trifle made in celebration of the upcoming nuptials, I knew I had to give it a go.

Following the runaway success of Heston’s hidden orange pudding during Christmas 2010, Waitrose commissioned the Dinner proprietor to create a refreshing Summer dessert in celebration of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. I can’t say I care a great deal about the wedding but I do appreciate the general buzz of excitement among people I speak to – rays of sunshine in these politically gloomy times are welcome. One thing definitely guaranteed to grab my attention however is a new Heston recipe.

Heston seems to have a bit of a thing for trifles, as In Search Of Heston has previously noted. His In Search of Perfection version is particularly mental, with typically absurd amount of stages involved. It did come in handy for one section however – the strawberry compote, which here serves as the “jelly” layer of a Seventies trifle. I incorporated fresh strawbs in with the compote, as I know Heston is fond of mixing the cooked and raw version of an ingredient together. In place of custard there’s a particularly intriguing saffron cream, topped with fragrant, crisp amaretti biscuits. The supermarket version is laced with Marc de Champagne brandy – well I checked my cupboard and I was fresh out (!) so I plumped for my old favourite dessert spirit, Marsala. Finally there’s a meringue topping, and a garnish of candied almonds and dried strawberries.

heston blumenthal's royal wedding trifle layers based on Waitrose recipeThere’s a few stages involved to be sure but none of them are particularly taxing and involve a bit of letting the ingredients sit about. I have no idea how close my version has come, as it isn’t in the shops yet at the time of writing, but I was very pleased with it. It’s creamy, fruity and the saffron sends in a festive, spiced note out of left-field, yet it’s somehow warming and comforting.

I’ll be fascinated to try the real thing when it’s around to see how I did but either way, I think it’s a lovely dessert with a lot going for it.

Heston Blumenthal’s Royal Wedding Trifle (serves 6 – 8):

For the strawberry compote:

1kg strawberries, hulled and diced

100g caster sugar

  1. Place the strawberries and sugar (reserving 4 for later) in a saucepan and gently heat, stirring occasionally. Cook down for about 15 minutes until you have a sticky puree.
  2. Pass the puree through a sieve to remove all the bits and crush well with the back of a spoon to get the most out of it.

For the saffron cream:

500ml double cream

About 20 threads of saffron

8 tablespoons caster sugar

  1. Pop the cream in a saucepan and add the saffron. Bring to a gentle simmer then turn off the heat and allow to cool. The saffron will infuse and colour the cream, turning custard-yellow.
  2. When the cream has cooled whisk, gradually adding the sugar. Keep going until you have a stiff cream.

For the amaretti:

150g crushed amaretti biscuits

4 tablespoons Marsala wine

  1. Mix the amaretti with the Marsala but don’t let it sit around too long – you still want them to have some crunch.

For the meringues:

5 egg whites

300g caster sugar

1 teaspoon cornflour

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually incorporate the sugar. Once all that’s in add the cornflour and vinegar. Keep whisking until the mixture is stiff.
  2. Pour into a piping bag and pipe 5cm blobs onto a lined baking tray, then bake for 1½ hours until firm but not browned. Turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven for a further oven, then peel off and store in airtight containers until needed.

To garnish:

30g almonds

2 tablespoons caster sugar

2 large strawberries, finely sliced

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 100°C. Dust a baking tray with icing sugar and lay the strawberries out on the sugar. Pop in the oven for about half an hour, until the strawberries are slightly shrivelled and sticky. When cooled peel off the tray gently.
  2. Put a small pan over a high heat and add the almonds. Shake them around for a couple of minute until toasted all over.
  3. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt and a tiny splash of water. Keep tossing the mix around in the pan until the sugar starts to turn golden brown, then turn out onto a ceramic plate to cool.

To assemble:

  1. Place the strawberry compote in the bottom of a serving dish (a nice glass one would be traditional, try and use a prettier one than mine). Finely slice the last 2 strawberries, top with a small twist of black pepper and stir into the puree.
  2. Spoon the cream over the strawberries. Top this with the amaretti biscuits.
  3. Arrange the meringues on the top, and scatter over the almonds and dried strawberry slices. Serve with bunting.
Want to know more about Heston and his recipes? Check out my Heston ingredient infographic.

21 thoughts on “heston blumenthal royal wedding trifle”

    1. Thanks MiMi! It would look prettier if I owned a decent glass dish to serve it in – just a Pyrex dish, the shame :-/

  1. Wow, that is true dedication, am very impressed you made it yourself! Looks delish. Will be interesting to see what it tastes like once it goes on sale… hope it doesn’t sell out as quickly as his christmas pud!

  2. Loved this trifle Gary, it was so delicious! And that’s from someone who doesn’t like traditional trifle! I am still regretting not sneaking out some spare meringues! Hope this is a popular recipe for you on here.

    1. Thanks Cathy! I’m glad you liked it, and relieved the almonds didn’t poison your husband.

      The leftover meringues made a great makeshift dessert last night, with leftover cream and Tiptree strawberry jam :-)

  3. Oh that looks delicious, I do love a good trifle.Saffron cream sounds interesting.
    Are they going to sell a ready-made version in Waitrose?

  4. Your meringue is too pretty! I love it – looks like eggs. I can’t wait to see if the real mc coy sells out like the hidden orange pud as well..but your version looks yummy :)

    1. Thanks Mils. Genuinely the best meringues I’ve ever made, I was doing a very sad little fist-pump motion when they came out :-/

  5. Bloody brilliant as always Gary!

    Your thinly sliced strawberry topping is inspired, will *have* to give it a go.

    With the Eton Mess elements in this, and the Black Forest Trifle (http://bit.ly/fmXU45), Waitrose seem to be going all out for turning Heston’s other favourite desserts into combo-trifle recipes! We should try to come up with a Treacle Tart Trifle before they do!

    1. Hi Helenka

      Costing a recipe isn’t something I usually do, so apologies if my approach is a little ham-fisted. Some prices are going to be really shaky depending on seasonality and how much you want to spend. I got my prices from Sainsbury’s as of today, and divided as necessary (e.g. saffron):

      1kg strawberries = £4
      About 500g caster sugar = £1
      500ml double cream = 60p
      About 20 threads of saffron = 80p
      150g crushed amaretti biscuits = £1.80
      4 tablespoons Marsala wine = 40p
      5 egg whites = 70p
      30g almonds = 40p

      Plus another 10p to cover little bits of pepper, cornflour, vinegar etc. gives us a grand total of £10.20.

      The strawberries are the big cost here, so that could be circumvented with a puree. At home there’s a good chance you’ll have sugar and eggs and possibly some cream too. I’ve used other things I have in the storecupboard generally (Marsala is really useful, as are almonds and saffron) so the cost isn’t that direct to me personally, but you can kinda see where the costs come from. Their base costs will be lower but they were using Champagne brandy as the liqueur.

      1. Hi Gary,

        I can imagine with Heston’s ingredient list it tots up quickly if you haven’t got a few items in your store cupboard already. £10.20’s not bad for a fancy trifle though :) The main issue that I had with Heston’s one was that it wouldn’t feed 6 – 8 people in the real world. More like 3 – 4! x

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