There`s an Indian touch to Britain`s Royal Wedding cake

Updated: Apr 29, 2011, 12:09 PM IST

London: The Royal wedding cake described as "very romantic" is being given the finishing touches in a luxury cakes company led by an Indian-origin entrepreneur and his British wife.

Kishore Patel, 57, is the managing director of the Leicestershire-based Fiona Cairns Ltd., which is known for making cakes for the luxury market.

Hailing from Baroda, Patel is the husband of Fiona Cairns, 55, who has earned a reputation in luxury baking after being trained as a pastry chef.

Patel told PTI unassumingly: "It started as a hobby, a very common hobby, nothing unusual, but then we unlocked the potential and grew. Today we have nearly 90 people working in our company".

The design and details of the wedding cake ordered by Prince William and Kate Middleton remain a secret until April 29, the wedding day. Patel said he will wear "traditional English dress" at the wedding.

The company prides itself on being creative and besides providing cakes for seasonal celebrations ensures its fabulous handmade cakes reflect current trends. Fiona`s
treats have attracted celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney and U2`s Bono.

The company now supplies more than 750,000 cakes (mostly fairy cakes) a year to shops including Fortnum & Mason, and Waitrose.

Fiona Cairns Ltd began on Fiona`s kitchen table 25 years ago, when Patel spotted the potential of his wife`s beautifully crafted handmade cakes.

In 2001, he joined the company full time and the company moved out of their garden and into a state of the art bakery in Fleckney, Leicestershire, the heart of the English countryside.

An alumnus of Scindia School, Gwalior, Patel arrived in Britain in 1964 to attend boarding school, and met Fiona at university. He says he and his family Fiona, son
Hari-Kishore and daughter Tara visit India every year, particularly Mumbai and Baroda.

Fiona has been given detailed plans to create a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake after sending several samples for Prince William and Kate to try. Details are not forthcoming, but the cake is said to be lavishly decorated, with a floral theme, and will include the royal couple`s new cipher.

The cake is also expected to feature four flowers of the home nations; English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock. Kate also wanted the cake to
feature around 16 different blooms and foliage for their meaning known as the "language of flowers".

Fiona said: "It`s multi-tiered, doesn`t have colour it`s cream and white (icing) and it`s a traditional cake but also quite delicate and modern, all the tiers will have a different theme. I can`t tell you what the recipe is exactly, but the brandy is very important, we always soak our fruits overnight to plump up the fruits."

She said: "There is the bridal rose which symbolizes happiness, the oak and acorn which is an architectural detail around the room where the cake will be symbolizes strength and endurance. There is a lily of the valley which symbolises sweetness and humility and ivy leaves which symbolise marriage."

Fiona would be assisted by a team that includes two workers of Indian origin.