The Queen's former personal chef has revealed the recipe for Her Majesty's favourite royal "melt in the mouth" shortbread – and its secret ingredient.
Darren McGrady, former personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle, Scotland released a video on his YouTube channel, giving away the recipe.
In the video, McGrady reminisced of his days at the Queen’s Scottish residence saying he remembers making a batch of shortbread at least once a week.
"The chefs loved heading up to Balmoral Castle. It’s a 50,000-acre estate and it’s just full of local ingredients and produce. The venison off the estate, the salmon from the river Dee; everything is just so fresh," he explained.
"To top it all, it has its own vegetable garden that supplies the house the whole time the Royal Family are there."
Rich and buttery shortbread has always been a staple on afternoon tea menus. It is a simple biscuit to make, and a standard recipe uses just three simple ingredients, butter, sugar and flour.
This being a royal recipe, however, there have to be more ingredients to make it extra special.
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The first is the addition of vanilla paste, offering a delicate floral note which works wonderfully with earl grey tea.
Secondly, and crucial for the melt-in-the-mouth texture, is cornstarch.
According to McGrady: "The cornstarch softens the shortbread, and makes it less glutenous.
"Instead of snapping, it crumbles, and melts in your mouth."
In this recipe, the royal chef uses a classic Scottish shortbread mould with a thistle, the emblem of Scotland.
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