Being stuck inside without being able to go to your favourite restaurants during the coronavirus lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t still eat like royalty.
That’s because the Queen’s former chef has created a YouTube channel sharing the recipes he served up to the royal family for years.
Darren McGrady worked at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Place for 11 years as a private chef to Princess Diana, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Queen herself.
In a series of videos, he shares some of their favourite dishes and recipes hoping to inspire others to get into the kitchen.
The first one he guides us through to create for ourselves is royal tea scones – which he says are the Queen’s favourite – and he throws in a few interesting royal anecdotes along the way.
He says: “The Queen would have plain scones one day, and fruit scones the next, with raisins and sultanas.
“She would always have afternoon tea wherever she was in the world. I remember being on the Royal Yacht Britannia, we flew out to Australia and it was like 5 o clock in the morning but to the Queen it was 5 o clock in the afternoon, so my first job was making scones.”
Ingredients (makes 16)
3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
One stick soft butter
1/2 cup + one tbs of granulated sugar
4 tsp of baking powder
One cup of milk
One cup of raisins (if making fruit scones)
One egg yolk for glazing
Start by preheating the oven to 180C and adding the flour, baking powder, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and rub it all together into fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and add in the beaten egg and about 3/4 of a cup of milk. Use your hand to gently combine but be careful not to mix it too much as you don’t want to tighten the dough.
If the mixture is dry, add some more milk a little bit at a time until the dough comes together without much effort as you move it around the bowl with your hand.
Darren says it’s ‘really important we don’t kneed it’ at this stage, as simply moving it around will combine it easily.
Once it’s formed a nice ball, put the dough on a lightly floured surface and kneed it ‘just a little bit’ to get a smooth surface.
Lightly roll it out so it’s about one inch thick and cut out the scones using a 2 inch cookie cutter.
Darren says the secret to a delicious looking scone is to glaze the tops only with egg yolk, so make sure you do that before popping them in the oven for around 15 minutes.
Take them out when they are golden brown on top and leave them to cool before cutting them in half and adding a dollop of butter between the two halves to melt.
And as he added jam and clotted cream to finish he may have ended the debate over which goes first once and for all – by revealing the Queen was always jam first.
We’ll consider that settled.