With restaurants and cafes closed during lockdown many Britons are having a go at making their favourite treats at home. Former private chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Darren McGrady runs his own food blog (www.theroyalchef.com) and YouTube channel and regularly shares how to make dishes fit for royalty.
Mr McGrady worked in the palace kitchens for 15 years and cooked for royals including the Queen, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.
If anyone knows how to cater to the most astute palates then it’s him.
According to Mr McGrady the Queen has a soft spot for an indulgent chocolate biscuit which he has shared how to make.
The former royal chef first shared the recipe with today.com and claims it’s the Queen’s favourite afternoon tea treat.
He said: “This chocolate biscuit cake is Her Royal Majesty the Queen’s favourite afternoon tea cake by far.”
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He added: “It is her favourite cake that she eats until it is all gone.
“If there is anything left when she has it at Buckingham Palace, it then goes to Windsor Castle so she can finish it there.
“I use to travel on the train from London to Windsor Castle with the biscuit cake in a tin on my knee. It was half-eaten.”
According to Mr McGrady, Prince William has a soft spot for the cake too.
He said: “This chocolate biscuit cake was Prince William’s groom’s cake at his wedding.
“The reason he chose it is that he used to go to tea with the Queen and he got a taste for it. That is when he started liking it.”
How to make chocolate biscuit cake
Mr McGrady shared the following recipe and instructions on his blog.
For the cake
1/2 teaspoon butter, for greasing the pan
8 ounces Rich tea biscuits or sweet cookies
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate
For the icing
8 ounces dark chocolate, for coating
1 ounce chocolate, for decoration
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1. Lightly grease a 6-inch-by-2½-inch cake ring with the butter and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.
2. Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until the mixture starts to lighten.
4. Melt the 4 ounces of the dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture, stirring constantly.
5. Add the egg and beat to combine.
6. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded.
8. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
9. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand.
10. Meanwhile, melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.
11. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.
12. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.
13. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.
14. Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.
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