A Dessert Fit For a Prince: Make These Mini Treacle Tarts to Celebrate Prince George’s Birthday

07/21/2015 at 12:31 PM ET

Prince George
REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool/LANDOV

With Prince George‘s second birthday on Wednesday, there are bound to be lots of sweets in the royal household this week—and we’re willing to bet one of them will be these mini treacle tarts.

Carolyn Robb—a chef who cooked for the royal family for 11 years—says the traditional British dessert was a favorite of Prince Harry and Prince William‘s when they were younger.

“It’s usually made as an 8-inch tart—but when Prince Harry was little, he loved treacle tarts so I used to make those little tiny ones for him,” Robb tells PEOPLE.

The British chef—who recently released her cookbook, The Royal Touch—recalls the young royals would have to get permission from Princess Diana before gobbling them down.

Carolyn Robb
Simon Brown

“Once, when [Harry] came into the kitchen to get one, I asked him to check with The Princess of Wales if he could have one,” she says. “He re-appeared moments later with a slip of paper in his hand. It read, ‘Mummy says it’s ok!’ in Princess Diana’s handwriting.”

“I have always treasured this wonderful little note!” she adds.

The tiny treats call for golden syrup, a traditional British ingredient, but can be substituted for maple syrup.

“It is an acquired taste as they are quite sweet,” she says. “But they’re lovely and you can add in some nuts or grated fresh apple as well, if you like.”

Treacle Tarts
Hector Sanchez

Carolyn Robb’s Treacle Tarts
Makes: 20 tarts

1 ¼ cups golden or maple syrup
3 cups fresh white breadcrumb
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. double cream
2 ½ (14 oz.) boxes store-bought pastry dough
3 tbsp. butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Warm the syrup in a small heavy-based saucepan; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Leave it to sit so that the crumbs absorb the syrup and swell.

3. Roll the pastry dough out on a lightly-floured surface to a 1⁄8-inch thickness. Cut out circles to line tartlet molds or a muffin pan and press the pastry down well into each mold. Chill for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in lemon juice and cream to syrup and breadcrumb mixture. Place a little filling in each tartlet.

5. Decorate the top of each tart with small pastry shapes or a lattice of pastry strips with the extra pastry dough.

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, brushing top of tartlet with melted butter after 15 minutes. Cool in the molds for 10 minutes on a wire rack lined baking pan before removing. Serve warm with whipped cream, custard or ice cream.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes

—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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