Windstar recently welcomed aboard the Private Event program in 2015.
(In case you hadn’t heard, each Windstar sailing now boasts a unique and complimentary “private event” with a region-specific experience, allowing guests the opportunity to connect more deeply with the destination during their cruise.)
Chef Darren is the former personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; and Princes William and Harry. He spent 15 years cooking for the Royal Family and shared his experiences and dishes with guests on Windstar during the June 19 Idyllic British Isles sailing.
One highlight of his time on board was the “tea party,” where chef served a selection of the Royal Family’s favorite tea sandwiches, a chocolate biscuit cake that was the groom’s cake at Prince William’s wedding, Scottish shortbread, and a caramel banana cake that’s a favorite of Prince Harry’s.
Chef also held a cooking demonstration, teaching guests how to make Yogurt Brûlée with Mango and Papaya, Princess Diana’s favorite healthy dessert.
In addition, Chef Darren also created a fabulous Gala Dinner on board, where he served a variety of royal dishes like Carrot Roulade, Beef Wellington, and his famous Summer Pudding.
“Summer Pudding is the Queen’s favorite dessert, and she serves it all the time at royal gatherings,” Chef Darren explains. “It’s a fruit-based dessert that’s perfect for summer entertaining, so it’s a really fun dish to recreate at home.”
Chef surmises it was served as the dessert to commemorate Princess Charlotte’s christening last week, so he’s been kind enough to share the recipe with us… a royal treat indeed!
Makes 6 portions
8 slices hearty white bread, several days old for best results
2 lb mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, cherries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries)
½ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
sprigs of mint for garnish
1 two pint pudding basin or soufflé case
Prepare the fruit by stoning and halving the cherries, destalking the redcurrants and blackcurrants, and hulling and quartering the strawberries, keeping each type of fruit separate at this stage.
In a large heavy-based pan, add the cherries, water, vanilla paste, and sugar over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the cherries simmer until they start to soften. Add the strawberries and blackberries and stir; simmer for a further two to three minutes and then add the blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, and finally the raspberries. Remove from the heat and carefully stir the fruit. Strain into a colander, and keep the liquid.
Cut the crusts off the bread, and cut a circle using one slice of the bread that will fit the bottom of the basin. Dip it into the reserved berry liquid and place into the pudding basin. Next cut the remaining bread in half, and line the pudding basin dipping the bread into the sauce first and overlapping each piece slightly. Reserve two pieces of bread for the top.
Once the basin is completely lined, spoon the fruit into the center and fill to the top. Place the two remaining pieces of bread on top of the fruit and place a saucer that fits snugly inside the basin on top of the bread. Weigh down the top of the pudding by placing something like a can of vegetables on top of the saucer and refrigerate overnight, along with the remaining juices.
Run a spatula around the edges of the pudding and invert onto a serving plate. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and allow it to run down the sides. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with whipped cream, if desired.