Welcome back to my blog. I hope you enjoyed my latest post, with another recipe in my ESB Musical Bake series, inspired by one of my favourite musicals, The Sound of Music. If you want to read the recipe for my Austrian Apple Strudel, click here!
In today’s post, I want to continue my ESB Musical Bake series, combining my love of musical theatre and baking, with another recipe inspired by a favourite musical – My Fair Lady.
A musical telling of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady was first staged in 1956 and starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. Written by acclaimed musical writing duo, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, it tells the story of the unlikely relationship between Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl, and Henry Higgins, an eminent professor of phonetics. Hearing Higgins boasting that he can make Eliza ‘speak properly’ within a matter of weeks, his new acquaintance, Colonel Pickering, challenges him to a bet to enable her to be passed off as a Lady at the forthcoming Embassy Ball.
Known for songs such as ‘Wouldn’t it be lovely’ and ‘I could have danced all night,’ My Fair Lady gives the audience a view into the class division of the late Edwardian era and is a timeless classic that endures to this day. Since its premiere, it has been made into a multi Oscar award-winning film, and revived all over the world.
Inspired by the show, I have created Eliza’s English Rose Creams, a high class handmade confectionary that Henry Higgins would be pleased to have in his drawing room and a fitting celebration of Eliza’s transformation from flower girl to society lady. Made with only 8 ingredients, they are the perfect special gift.
For centuries, rose and violet creams have been made by artisan chocolatiers and only available from specialist shops such as Fortnum and Mason. However, making your own is surprisingly simple, and even more surprising, easy on a budget. Violet essence has been made less easy to get your hands on in the UK so I decided to use rose water which is widely available at major supermarkets. Instead of crystalized rose petals, I used freeze-dried raspberries to add a fruity twist to a classic chocolate and complement the delicate flavour of the rose.
To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of ‘Without You’ which is sung by Eliza when she has left Higgins’ home to seek refuge with his mother. Frustrated by his behaviour towards her after her success at the Ball, Eliza takes the opportunity to tell him all the things that will still happen in her life, even if she is no longer in his company, showing she is perfectly able to cope on her own. As she says at the beginning of the song ‘Yes my reverberating friend you are not the beginning and the end!’
Without further ado, here is the recipe…
ELIZA’S ENGLISH ROSE CREAMS
Makes 25 rose creams
3 tbsp double cream
2 drops of red food intense gel colour
1/4 tsp rose water (I used Steenberg Organic Rose Water)
275g icing sugar
150g good quality 70% dark chocolate
1 tsp flavourless oil (such as sunflower or rapeseed)
Freeze dried raspberry pieces, to decorate
A big mixing bowl
A wooden spoon
A set of teaspoons/tablespoons
A palette knife
A baking tray
A glass or tumbler with a flat base
A small saucepan
A heatproof bowl
HOW TO MAKE THE BAKE
1. Start by making the rose flavoured fondant for the centre of each chocolate. Mix together the cream, gel food colouring and rose water until they are one baby pink mixture. Sieve the icing sugar into the mix and stir together until it starts to clump into pieces. Then use your hands to bring the mixture together as a ball of dough – it looks just like the fondant you buy to cover cakes but pink and flavoured with rose. Knead on a piece of greaseproof paper until smooth and then its time to shape into creams.
2. Take a teaspoon sized piece of fondant and roll in your hands to make a ball. To flatten without marking with your fingers, take a glass or tumbler with a flat base and press into icing sugar to stop it from sticking. Then press on top of the ball of fondant till it is about as thick as two stacked pound coins. (ESB Top Tip : These are handmade chocolates, so the unique nature of each chocolate comes from taking time to shape each one individually!) Then set aside onto the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and continue with the remaining mixture. You can of course flatten them with your hands but it makes it slightly more uniform if you use the base of a glass.
3. When you have moulded all of your mixture into creams, place them in the fridge for an hour to firm up before you coat them in chocolate.
4. To melt the chocolate for coating the creams, break it up into small chunks and add the oil. Place the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water to gently melt it and stir from time to time to combine. When it is perfectly glossy, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. (ESB Top Tip : Adding the oil to the chocolate makes it extra glossy but leaving it time to rest ensures that the heat of the mixture doesn’t melt the fondant.)
5. To dip the creams, use a fork to pick up one fondant and drop it into the melted chocolate. Then turn over and lift out, leaving the excess chocolate to drain off before placing back on the greaseproof paper. Dip all the fondants into the chocolate in this way and then leave to cool in the fridge to allow them to set. When the chocolate has set completely, lift off the greaseproof paper with a palette knife and place on a serving plate or into a box to give as a gift. The perfect chocolate, full of English rose and sophistication which will impress any high class guests!
Thank you for popping by blog today. I hope you enjoyed joining me for the 10th recipe in my ESB Musical Bake series, Eliza’s English Rose Creams. If you decide to recreate it, don’t forget to tag me in any photos on Instagram @englishsingingbaker #esbmusicalbake!
See you next time for another tuneful post, but in the meantime,
English Singing Baker x