Former Royal Chef Darren McGrady Shares Queen Elizabeth II's Favorite Birthday Cake Recipe
Most of us can't eat like the Royal family but Chef Darren McGrady—the former chef of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Princes William and Harry—is making that dream a reality. McGrady moved from England to Dallas, Texas, in 1998 and has since published Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen as well as started his own fine dining catering service, Eating Royally. Now, McGrady is dishing out some insight as to what the Royal family ate during his tenure in a new series with Delish.
In the most recent episode, McGrady demonstrates how to make the Queen's favorite chocolate birthday cake. "The chocolate birthday cake is a recipe that dates back to Queen Victoria," McGrady says. The cake starts with a thick and gooey sabayon (custard) out of eggs and sugar. Flour and cocoa butter are sifted into the sabayon, mixed with melted butter by hand, and then the batter is transferred to a springform cake pan and baked. From here, McGrady spreads a rich chocolate ganache between layer after layer of cake. Then the cake is topped with more silky chocolate ganache and chilled.
"The Queen's a chocoholic. She loves chocolate. Anything on the menu that we used to prepare at the palace that had chocolate in it, she would approve and it would go to the royal table," McGrady tells Delish. According to McGrady, the Queen has this chocolate cake twice a year on her birthdays—that's right, two birthdays. April 21st is the Queen's real birthday, but the second Saturday of June is Trooping the Colour, which is the official birthday of the British Sovereign.
However, another chocolate cake recipe is also popular among the Royals—chocolate biscuit cake, which was the recipe that Prince William chose as his groom's cake at his wedding to Kate Middleton. "This is a Royal family tradition and if it's good enough for Queen Victoria and her chef, then it's good for me too," says McGrady.