The Queen‘s former royal chef Darren McGrady is back in the kitchen again, sharing some more secrets from when he who cooked for the monarch, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Banana bread surged in popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, with people flocking to use up old, browning bananas with easy recipes.
But if you thought you’d baked every version possible, including the Duchess of Sussex’s own royal recipe, then you clearly hadn’t heard about the Queen’s secret ingredients!
WATCH: The Queen’s favourite foods may surprise you
In Darren’s latest YouTube video, he revealed how Her Majesty, 94, likes her banana bread, which was regularly served during afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. “A little butter just splattered across the top – the perfect afternoon tea cake,” he explained.
MORE: The Queen’s daily diet: The monarch’s breakfast, lunch and dinner revealed
As well as combining the traditional ingredients of self-raising flour, butter, salt, eggs, sugar and bananas, Darren also added raisins, dried cherries and nuts to create texture and vanilla bean paste for added flavour.
Although we imagine the sweet treat would be quickly demolished in most households, Darren revealed the banana bread’s extra ingredients allow it to be stored for several months – which used to come in handy when he worked for the royals!
Once fully cooled, the chef said: “We’ll wrap it in plastic wrap and it can go into the refrigerator for up to three months and it keeps fresh and moist and perfect.”
Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste, £13.26, Amazon
Darren continued: “I can’t tell you how many times this recipe got me out of trouble at Buckingham Palace. Because the fruit keeps the bread moist in the refrigerator for several weeks, there are always two or three loaves in there. If a member of the royal family turned up then, oh the good old banana bread – a life-saver!”
The Queen’s fruit and nut version is very different from Meghan Markle’s – which also contained two secret ingredients. Back in 2018, the Duchess took her own banana bread for a picnic with a farming family in Dubbo, Australia, whilst on royal tour with Prince Harry.
Meghan’s homemade cake included chocolate chips and ginger, according to the Daily Mail‘s correspondent Rebecca English.
Benita Woodley from the Mountain View Farm told the Daily Mail: “She [the Duchess of Sussex] said if you go to someone’s house you always bring something, so she did. She said she was worried about the bananas, that she’d put too many bananas in it. But the Duke said there’s never too many bananas.”
Which royal recipe to try first? We vote for both…
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