Wed | Apr 25, 2018

Royal Pastry - Dole to Prince Harry: Don't give up on your banana dream

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2018 | 12:12 AM
Dole's Executive Chef Mark Allison, with a preview of the banana-inspired 'groom's cake' offered to Prince Harry for his May 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle.
Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Bakery in Hackney, east London. Ptak has been chosen to make the cake for the wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Kensington Palace said the royal wedding cake will be a lemon elderflower concoction incorporating "the bright flavors of spring." It'll be covered with buttercream, and adorned with fresh flowers.
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LONDON (AP)

Lemon, elderflower, fresh flower decorations. The cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May wedding will be appropriately spring-themed.

Kensington Palace said the royal wedding cake will be a lemon elderflower concoction incorporating "the bright flavours of spring." It'll be covered with butter cream, and adorned with fresh flowers.

Look for a hint of California too - the designated pastry chef Claire Ptak was raised in California, and worked as a pastry chef under the celebrated Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

Ptak now runs Violet Bakery in London.

The palace says the couple of are "very much looking forward to sharing this cake" with guests at their May 19 nuptials.

The guest list has not been released, and the designer of Markle's dress has so far been kept secret.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California:

Dole isn't giving up on its quest to make sure Prince Harry and Meghan Markle enjoy the banana wedding - or least the banana cake - of their dreams.

In response to recent reports that the royal couple's wedding cake will now feature lemon and elderflower instead of bananas, Dole's 'top-banana' Executive Chef Mark Allison, has unveiled a banana 'groom's cake' that could satisfy the cravings of the famously banana-loving prince on his May 19, 2018, wedding day.

A tradition that dates back to England in the late 19th century and gained popularity in the American south - smaller, less formal groom's cakes are typically baked to the specific tastes and preferences of the groom.

When the royal couple hinted last year that they were considering a banana-flavored wedding cake instead of the traditional British fruitcake, Dole offered Allison's services to create and present a wedding cake that could live up to the couple's well-documented love for the world's most popular fruit.

Since the official royal wedding cake will now not feature bananas, the produce leader now hopes it can still deliver on Prince Harry's passion for the sweet yellow fruit with a banana-inspired "groom's cake," to serve at the reception at Windsor Castle.

The world's largest banana provider also released a pair of inspirational bake-it-yourself banana cake recipes for the hundreds of millions of royal watchers who didn't get a wedding invite but want to celebrate at home.

Challenged with the hypothetical cake-baking assignment of a lifetime, Mark Allison, director of culinary nutrition at the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI) in Kannapolis, North Carolina, is proposing a three-tiered banana sponge cake and topped it with low fat Greek yoghurt, fresh meringue and seasonal fruits instead of traditional frosting to meet the strict nutritional guidelines of Dole and DNI, while still being an extremely delicious dessert worthy of inclusion at the royal wedding - even if on the side.

According to Allison, "I created this groom's cake to show the extraordinary possibilities of cooking with bananas and other fruit -even for the most elegant occasions," he said.

Allison, a 37-year culinary arts veteran and former dean of culinary arts education at Johnson & Wales University (JWU), said designing a banana cake worthy of the Royal Family would represent a higher calling, both personally and professionally. "I'd work with them to create a cake they would be proud to present not only to England but to the millions of fellow banana lovers around the world."