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A Personal Tribute to the late, HRH The Princess of Wales….our Queen of Hearts!

Posted: August 4, 2007
by: Robert Jackson


This year marks the tenth anniversary of the untimely death of Diana Princess of Wales. Here in the United Kingdom, the occasion has so far been officially commemorated by a glorious tribute of music and dance hosted by Princes William & Harry. Although unable to attend the concert in person, I enjoyed every moment of it on television…….it was incredibly moving and a perfect way to remember our beloved and sadly missed, Diana, Queen of Hearts. This event is to be followed by a formal Service of Remembrance in London on August 31st which will be attended by senior members of the Royal family.

It’s interesting to reflect ten years on from the event on just how Diana is perceived and remembered now. For many of us, it’s as though she never really left us! She lives on in hearts, spirits and minds. If ever we needed evidence of the power of LOVE, then this must be precisely that phenomenon! Most of us never met her, yet somehow, we feel as though she was, and still IS a part of OUR lives. She was indeed unique, and quite, irreplaceable!

I for one will never forget her. I watched her grow from a sweet and charming, somewhat innocent young lady to an iconic Princess able to hold her own on the world stage (with or without the support of the Royal Family!). Her grace, elegance, sense of style and genuine sensitivity made her stand out from any other member of the Royal Family, past or present. If she had lived on, who knows what she may have achieved. Perhaps as many suggest, she may indeed have gone on to cause some (minor) “embarrassment” to the establishment; but there is no doubt that more importantly she would also have gone on and fostered worthy humanitarian and social causes on a personal, sensitive and influential level that no other world leader seems capable of. She is, truly missed.

And so as the anniversary of her tragic death approaches, I prefer not to mourn her passing, but instead CELEBRATE her life. Short it may have been, but Diana lived life to the full and made every moment count. Let her legacy to us all be one of hope……and of dreams for a better future.

To mark this special occasion, I want to share with you a favourite dessert of the Princess….Tiramisu Hearts. According to her butler, Paul Burrell, this dish was introduced to her by a chef from world famous Cipriani Hotel in Venice. It then appeared regularly (and perhaps all too frequently!) on lunch menus at Kensington Palace.

Tiramisu Hearts, for the Queen of Hearts!


Serves 2

7oz/200g piece chocolate marble cake

1 tablespoon cold, strong black coffee

4 tablespoons brandy

7oz/200g mascarpone or medium-fat soft cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted

1 ripe, small mango

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

white chocolate shavings & cape gooseberries to decorate


  1. Line a 7 inch/19cm square cake tin with cling wrap so that it overhangs the sides..
  2. Thinly slice the marble cake and lay the slices side by side to cover the base of the tin.
  3. Mix the coffee with 2 tablespoons of brandy and sprinkle evenly all over the cake.
  4. In a large bowl combine together the cream cheese, vanilla essence and icing sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pile the cream cheese mix over the cake and spread evenly. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (although preferably overnight).
  6. Meanwhile, peel the mango and remove the flesh from the stone. Place the flesh in a food processor along with the remaining brandy. Bend until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required.
  7. Remove the cheese-covered cake from the refrigerator and carefully lift it out of the tin. Discard the cling wrap. Using a 3 inch/7cm heart-shaped pastry cutter, cut out 4 hearts.
  8. Using a palette knife, stack one on top of another to create two thicker hearts. Dust the tops lightly with cocoa powder.
  9. Arrange the hearts on a serving plate and drizzle some of the mango coulis around the edge. Decorate with some white chocolate shavings over the top and a cape gooseberry to the side.

Eat and enjoy!

Cooks Notes:

  1. Don’t waste the wonderful trimmings from this dessert. They will make a treat for the next day lightly broken up and piled into a serving bowl.
  2. To make the chocolate shavings, melt the chocolate and spread it fairly thickly on a board. Refrigerate until set. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come up to room temperature. Using a cheese slicer, “shave” off curls of chocolate. Refrigerate until required.

Robert Jackson

Gourmet Food Revolution

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