The Royal Touch: Recipes Fit For a Queen (Literally)
Photos courtesy of "The Royal Touch: Simply Stunning Home Cooking from a Royal Chef" by Carolyn Robb
Here, we’ve rounded up some royally-inspired recipes, including afternoon tea-worthy scones with vanilla and orange zest and even the chocolate biscuit cake Prince William chose as his groom’s cake for his wedding.
For 10 years, Carolyn Robb was the personal chef to TRH the Prince and Princess of Wales (that’s Charles and Diana to us mere mortals), Prince William and Prince Harry.
Robb recently released The Royal Touch: Simply Stunning Home Cooking from a Royal Chef, a collection of 100 recipes – including afternoon tea-worthy Scones with Vanilla and Orange Zest and the Chocolate Biscuit Cake Prince William chose as his groom’s cake for his wedding (both recipes here) – and anecdotes and letters from her residency at Kensington Palace.
“One of the abiding memories I have of the Queen’s garden parties that I attended at Buckingham Palace is of the mountains of cream scones and cucumber sandwiches,” says Robb. “Forever more, scones will be synonymous with garden parties for me.” And who doesn’t like a party?
Recipe: Scones with Vanilla and Orange Zest (pictured above)
“This is my favourite recipe for scones, and my advice is to eat them fresh from the oven and never to stint on the cream and jam!”
YOU WILL NEED:
A 4-cm (1½-inch) pastry cutter and 2 flat baking trays
450 g/1 lb plain flour (3¾ cup)
60 g/2 oz golden caster sugar (¼ cup)
2.5 ml/½ tsp salt
15 ml/3 tsp baking powder
100 g/3½ oz butter (7 tbsp)
175 ml/¾ cup buttermilk
50 ml/¼ cup milk
1 free-range egg (UK medium/USA large)
5 ml/1 tsp vanilla extract
Recipe: Chocolate Biscuit Cake
“My mother used to make this when I was a child, and it was a great favourite of mine. When Prince William and Prince Harry were very young, I made it for them using the same recipe. It was a firm favourite in the royal nursery; so much so that, many years later, Prince William chose to have chocolate biscuit cake at his wedding for the groom’s cake. It was designed, made and gifted to Prince William by McVitie’s biscuit manufacturers and is said to have been made from 1,700 biscuits and 17 kg of chocolate!
“This recipe is very simple, and children always enjoy crushing and crumbling the biscuits (in a variety of unusual, and often messy, ways!) I have included pistachios and soft figs in this version of the recipe, but for children I leave them out and replace them with the same weight in biscuits.”
YOU WILL NEED:
One 20-cm (8-inch) round or square cake tin or flan ring or a 450 g/1 lb loaf tin, approximately 16 x 11 cm, 7 cm deep (6¼ x 4¼ inches, 2¾ inches deep)
FOR THE CAKE:
340 g/12 oz butter (3 sticks)
240 g/8½ oz golden syrup (¾ cup)
60 g/2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (⅔ cup)
120 g/4 oz cup dark chocolate (⅔ cup)
5 ml/1 tsp pure vanilla extract
60 g/2 oz pistachios (½ cup)
100 g/3½ oz soft, plump dried figs, sliced (½ cup packed)
450 g/1 lb digestive biscuits, crushed
300 g/11 oz dark chocolate (2 cups)
50 g/2 oz white chocolate (⅔ cup)
Selection of small chocolate sticks and dark and white Maltesers or Whoppers
Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a heavy based pan. Do not let it boil.
Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, dark chocolate and vanilla extract.
Stir until you have a very smooth, glossy mixture.
Add the pistachios, figs and crushed biscuits to the chocolate mixture and stir well.