The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh left Windsor Castle and made their way to their Scottish holiday home, Balmoral Castle on Monday. So it would be rude not to indulge in some traditional local delicacies, right?
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Former royal chef Darren McGrady posted a new video on his YouTube channel showing how to bake the Queen’s traditional shortbread recipe, presented exactly as she likes it with one very important secret ingredient.
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Darren revealed he used to regularly make Scottish shortbread during the royals’ annual trip to Balmoral – and considering the monarch’s sweet tooth, we bet it’s still served to this day! “I used to make shortbread at least once a week at Balmoral and it was always on the afternoon tea menu,” he said.
Shortbread mould, £15.95, Amazon
As well as the three regular ingredients of butter, flour and sugar, he revealed that he includes one more ingredient to help create the right texture. He explained: “The royal recipe includes cornstarch, too. Cornstarch softens the shortbread – it makes it less glutinous. Instead of snapping, it crumbles and just melts in your mouth.” Speaking of mouths, ours are already watering at the thought of it!
“It’s such an easy dish to make, you just rub together all those ingredients,” he continued. And for those worrying about their presentation skills (we’ve all experienced misshapen biscuits!) Darren revealed the clever way he ensured the Queen’s afternoon tea was always beautifully presented – with a shortbread mould! The one he used was wooden with a Scottish thistle design in the middle, and you can get a similar version on Amazon for £15.95.
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When the chefs aren’t baking, they also enjoy using all the fresh local ingredients available at Balmoral. Darren explained: “It’s a 50,000-acre estate and it’s full of local ingredients and produce – the venison off the estate, the salmon from the River Dee, everything is so fresh. And then to top it all, it has its own vegetable garden that supplies the house for the whole time that the Queen and the family are up there.” No wonder the residence is one of Her Majesty’s favourite places in the world!
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