Queen Elizabeth’s Drop Scones

October 12, 2018: The Royal Wedding Day of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank

Those who live on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean and are planning to follow the second British royal wedding of the year must wake up really early to watch any news reports due to time differences. A simple British-inspired breakfast with tea and scones would make still-sleepy fans rise and shine for the celebration of marriage between Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (a low-key event compared to her cousin Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19).

We have made many royal recipes for our blog before and are now including Queen Elizabeth’s own drop scones for this occasion. Also known as Scotch pancakes (which are basically like American-style “silver dollars”), Her Majesty served these to U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower when he visited her at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1959. Her old family recipe is included in the National Archives.

Drop scones/Scotch pancakes/silver dollars are a perfect option for celebrating the royal wedding early in the morning or for a tea time breakfast or brunch. Congratulations to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on their wedding day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Town and Country magazine)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (superfine preferred)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (we used European/Irish style unsalted butter)

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Add half the milk. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the remaining milk and melted butter. Drop by tablespoonsful on a greased griddle/skillet/pan on medium high heat. Do not overcrowd the pan if cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flip the scone on the other side when bubbles appear. Cook until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm with jam, jelly, clotted cream, butter or syrup.

Notes

  • Queen Elizabeth’s original recipe uses teacups for measurements. We have converted them to modern cup measurements above.
  • Search our blog for other royal recipes filed under the British/English/Tea Time section of our Theme Menus.

Lemon Elderflower Cake

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day! Ever since Kensington Palace announced that Chef Claire Ptak would make their wedding cake, we have been curious about the recipe for lemon elderflower cake. According to the official announcement, the cake would “incorporate the bright flavors of spring…(and)…be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”

There are many recipe versions of lemon elderflower cake but we tried the one published in People magazine. Their version is heavy and dense, unlike the light and fluffy cakes that we are used to. It is both rich and refreshing, which is befitting for a royal dessert. We also thinned down the basic buttercream recipe with elderflower liqueur but the floral flavor is faint.  We could not find fresh elderflowers to decorate the cake, so we used silk spring flowers with yellow centers instead to indicate the lemon flavor with this color. Lastly we topped our simple, rustic-style cake with a tiara to add some “Markle sparkle”.

Make a mini lemon elderflower wedding cake to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan. Best wishes to them and to all the other couples getting married today!

Recipe

(Adapted from People magazine)

For the lemon cake

  • 4 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 3 teapoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed (about 3 lemons)

Directions

Line two 6- and 8-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Mist the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

Gradually add the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then add half of the sour cream. Continue to alternate the flour and sour cream mixture until well combined and the cake batter is smooth.

Mix in the lemon juice. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, filling them halfway. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Brush away any crumbs.

For the elderflower buttercream frosting

  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (+/-) elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar.  Thin to a spreadable consistency with elderflower liqueur. Spread a little frosting onto a cake board to act as a “glue” for the bottom layer of the cake.

 

 For the lemon elderflower liquid

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • ¼ cup elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a small bowl, dissolved the sugar in lemon juice and elderflower liqueur. Stir well. Brush this liquid onto the cut layers of the cooled cakes before icing them with elderflower buttercream frosting.

Continue with each cake layer, brushing with lemon elderflower liquid and then frosting it with the elderflower buttercream. Frost the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate as desired. Top with a tiara and add spring flowers. Place on a cake pedestal. Serve and celebrate!

Notes

  • We used two 10-inch round pans for this recipe and sliced the layers in half. The People magazine recipe uses 6- and 8-inch rounds. For our final food photo above, the latter are cake dummies with the bottom 10-inch cake being the real one. Many couples use cake dummies to add height to their wedding cake, cut a real one for photos and serve sheet cakes from the back kitchen to save money.
  • Fruitcake is traditionally served at British weddings. This lemon elderflower cake is a contemporary confection honoring American bride Meghan Markle.
  • Search our blog for more royal-inspired recipes.

 

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

(Prince William’s Groom’s Cake)

Chocolate Biscuit Cake 

April 29, 2011: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton

Chocolate groom’s cakes are popular in the American South. Across the pond, in jolly old England, Prince William is reportedly having one, too! Alongside the traditional, elaborately-decorated British fruitcake as a wedding cake, the chocolate biscuit (cookie) cake is Prince William’s choice for a groom’s cake. It is a royally rich, crunchy chocolate confection, which is one of his childhood comfort foods as well as his grandmother’s (the Queen’s) favorite tea cake. Many royal wedding watchers and foodies are probably preparing this decadent dessert to celebrate the historic moment when the prince weds a commoner like the rest of us. Then we can get a tiny taste of the rich, royal life—as if we ourselves were attending the fairy tale wedding of the century—and have his cake and eat it, too! Congratulations to the happy couple from HI Cookery!

Recipe

(Adapted from Eating Royally by Darren McGrady)

For the chocolate biscuit cake

  • 1 package rich tea biscuits (we used McVitie’s brand 200 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon butter (to grease a 6 x 2 ½-inch round springform pan)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 ounces (4 squares) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

Break the biscuits into ½ – 1 inch pieces but not into crumbs. Set aside. Butter a 6 x 2 ½ – inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

In another bowl, microwave the chocolate until it is melted. Pour this into the butter and sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Mix in the beaten egg.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Fold in the biscuit pieces a little at a time until everything is well coated. Line the springform pan with greased parchment paper. Press into the pan until all spaces are filled and flattened. Refrigerate for at least three hours or until firm. On a foil-lined baking sheet with edges, unmold the cake onto a wire rack. Use a spatula to loosen the cake from the springform pan. Peel away the parchment paper. Brush off any crumbs before pouring the chocolate ganache topping over it.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

For the chocolate ganache topping

  • 4 ounces (4 squares) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Melt the chocolate. Stir in the cream until well combined. Pour the mixture over the cake and smooth it over the top and sides. Transfer to a cake plate or pedestal. Chill the cake to let the frosting set.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Let the remaining chocolate cool to thicken. Then whip to a firm consistency (it will be a slightly lighter shade of chocolate). Fill a pastry bag with a decorative tip (we used Wilton tip #2D) and pipe borders on the top and bottom edges of the cake. Refrigerate to set. Bring to room temperature before slicing and serving.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Top the cake with additional desired decorations, such as a monogram or bride and groom figures. We used white chocolate/vanilla candy wafers that were melted and cooled in an alphabet mold to make our monograms of the letters W and C for William and Catherine.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Notes

  • Thanks always to our dear friend Lisa L. for sending some ingredients from Europe. Unfortunately, the McVitie’s rich tea biscuits that she and her husband John L. (a Welshman) had mailed more than three weeks ago did not arrive in time to make Prince William’s groom’s cake (fortunately, we found the cookies at an English tea shop in town). We also blame the post office for losing our invitations to the royal wedding!!!

Coronation Chicken

Tea Sandwiches

 Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

April 29, 2011: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton

Take time for tea and watch the royal wedding today (it is inevitable as this historic event will be all over the news anyway until the media frenzy fades away). So sit back and relax, sip on a cup of tea and savor some sandwiches, such as this creamy, curry-flavored one called Coronation Chicken.

We learned how to make this sandwich and other tea time treats (scones, shortbread cookies, tarts, cupcakes, etc.) when we attended a demonstration class together for fun at Bama Pie Kitchen and Cooking School while living in Oklahoma. Since then, we would host a home-style High Tea with Highlander’s family (his father was born in Britain) whenever they visit us.

Make your menu majestic by including Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches for royal wedding watch parties, tea time and other special gatherings with family and friends.

Recipe

(Adapted from Bama Pie Kitchen and Cooking School)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, light/lite or fat-free
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup mango chutney (we used Ohelo’s brand)
  • slices of bread, white or wheat

Directions

Poach the chicken breasts by boiling them in a saucepan until cooked through. Cool then chop up or grate the chicken coarsely. In a large bowl, mix the chicken with sour cream or yogurt.

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

In a small cup, make a paste with the curry powder and water. Stir the curry into the chicken mixture. Add the mango chutney to taste.

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Spread the mixture between slices of bread. Cut off the crusts (optional) and slice into triangles or rectangles.

Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Notes

  • This version of Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches is lighter than its original recipe, which uses mayonnaise instead of sour cream or yogurt. It is also optional to add golden raisins and chopped, dried apricots to sweeten the sandwich.
  • Thanks to Islander’s parents for sending Ohelo’s Mango Chutney from Hawaii (formerly named as the Sandwich Islands after the 4th Earl of Sandwich by Captain James Cook in the 1770s).

Royal Scones

Royal Scones

April 29, 2011: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton

The royal wedding is scheduled for 11 a.m. British time, which means it is even earlier in the morning to watch it on television or the Internet in most parts of America. While our friends in Europe may be having their lunches then, here we are having a basic breakfast of tea and scones. Highlander and Islander have had various scones before (search our blog for recipes), but the one we are featuring is Royal Scones from a royal chef’s cookbook to commemorate the historic day Wills marries Kate!

Recipe

(Adapted from Eating Royally by Darren McGrady)

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups self-rising flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ – 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup raisins or currants

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the beaten egg in the center.

Royal Scones

Pour in ¾ cup of milk. Mix until it becomes a sticky dough. If it is too dry, add a little more milk 1/8 cup at at time. Add the raisins or currants and combine well. Press the dough into a greased scone pan or shape by hand into a traditional triangle shape.

Royal Scones

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, being careful not to burn or brown the edges too much. Remove from the oven. Transfer from the scone pan to a wire rack.

Royal Scones

Notes

  • If not using self-rising flour, use 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour mixed with 4 teaspoons baking powder.
  • For a more muffin-looking scone, roll out the dough onto a floured surface to an inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter or rim of a glass to cut out the scones. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet about an inch apart. Brush the tops with one beaten egg yolk. Bake as above.
  • Serve the scones warm with butter, jams or clotted cream.
  • We bought our mini scone pan from Williams-Sonoma.