Chef perfects palace's last-minute order in front of cookery class

IT IS not often that a master baker is ordered to make a cake that is fit for a king – and has to take the command literally.

But Paul Bradford, of Truly Scrumptious in Linlithgow, found himself standing in the Royal Palace, nervously waiting to hand over one of his luxury creations, after being asked to whip up a cake for the Prince of Monaco.

The surprise order came as the top designer was about to teach his techniques to more than 100 budding chefs across the border in Taggia, Italy.

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As it was required by 6pm that evening and Paul didn't want to let the group down, he decided to make one of the most important orders he had ever received in front of them.

Paul, 31, from Linlithgow – who got the prestigious job after being recommended by the prince's personal chef – said: "I'd never given a demonstration to that many people before and there was a language barrier, so I already felt pretty nervous.

"We were meant to make a cake for Prince Albert the next day but it turned out he was going on a hunting trip so we had to make it there and then.

"After a lot of thought I decided to just make the cake during the demonstration. It was very high pressure and quite a risk because usually I would spend three days perfecting such an important order. Luckily it all went smoothly and I was happy with the result."

He added: "Out of all the cakes I've made for high society, this was probably the most prestigious one."

After Paul and his business partner David Brice, 42, had added the finishing touches to the four-tier wedding-style cake, they had to rush to the Palace to hand over the masterpiece in time for a party the prince was holding that evening.

Unfortunately the pair missed meeting the prince by a few minutes, but they were treated to a taste of the high life in the royal kitchen.

Paul said: "It was his private kitchen, so it was very grand. The prince's chef, Christian Garcia, popped open a bottle of his top quality Champagne while they inspected the cake and I'll admit I had several glasses.

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"I'd love to cook in that kitchen and I may even get the chance later in the year. We've been invited back to give Christian and his staff a demonstration of our cake-making techniques."

The prince was so impressed with the result that he asked the pair to return the following day to show him one of their popular handbag-shaped cakes.

Paul said: "He'd seen the pictures and he wanted to see it for himself. We decided to give one of the handbag cakes as a gift, although unfortunately we didn't meet the prince that time either as he was away. Maybe next time."

The designer duo make a range of luxury cakes, ranging from 80 to 3,000. In the past they have rustled up sweet treats for members of the royal family, the Bee Gees, Miss Scotland and members of Hearts, Hibs and Celtic football teams.