Chocolate biscuit cake and tea sandwiches, anyone?

By Bridget Hallinan
November 14, 2019
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After almost two years, it’s finally here—the season three premiere of The Crown, when Olivia Colman officially takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II as the series moves through the 1960s and 70s. The Netflix description teases the British royal family having to adapt to a “new, more liberated, but also more turbulent world,” and there’s sure to be lots of nonfiction drama and intrigue along the way. The tense rivalry between Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret; Charles, more grown up and navigating a relationship with his future second wife, Camila. Needless to say, we’re excited for November 17.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

If you plan on having a viewing party, we’ve gathered a list of foods the Queen herself has been known to enjoy, thanks to intel revealed over the years from chefs who worked for the royal family. She has a favorite cocktail and specific sandwiches she likes to eat with her tea—whatever you do, don’t forget the chocolate biscuit cake, because she brings a slice with her wherever she goes. 

Drinks

Cocktails 

According to a 2017 CNN interview with Darren McGrady, a chef who formerly cooked for the royal family, the Queen’s favorite cocktail is a gin and Dubonnet. The latter, a sweet French apéritif, has four factors that contribute to its flavor according to the brand’s website—a red wine base, a blend of herbs and spices, cinchona tree bark, and cane sugar.

Find a recipe for a similar cocktail here.

Wine

If the queen drinks with dinner, McGrady also told CNN she’ll opt for a sweet German wine. Our executive wine editor, Ray Isle, recently recommended a few lightly sweet German Rieslings to pair with Thanksgiving turkey, so you can kill two birds with one stone. However, don’t expect them to be dessert wines—Isle says the residual sugar level is “modest” and “in perfect balance.”

Food

Tea sandwiches

McGrady told Food & Wine that the Queen has afternoon tea every day, and, as opposed to cakes, will take cucumber or salmon finger sandwiches with her tea. 

Find our recipes for tea sandwiches here.

Game

The Queen loves game meat, McGrady said, and typically enjoyed pheasant or venison for an entrée at lunch—any game that could be caught at her estate.

Get venison recipes here.

Stew

In Queen of the World, an HBO documentary that premiered in 2018, Chef Mark Flanagan said that callaloo—a Caribbean stew—is “an absolute sensation” for the queen. The dish has West African roots and is made with callaloo leaves (also called dasheen leaves or taro root leaves), garlic, thyme, onion, tomatoes, and hot peppers. We have a version available on our site—if you can’t find callaloo leaves, substitute in spinach. 

Find our recipe for callaloo here.

Cake

Queen Elizabeth is known for having a sweet tooth, and she particularly loves chocolate biscuit cake. In fact, McGrady told Recipes Plus that she brings some with her whenever she travels. "She'll take a small slice every day until eventually there is only one tiny piece, but you have to send that up, she wants to finish the whole of that cake ," McGrady said. "The chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes back again and again and again everyday until it's all gone."

If you’d like to make the cake at home, MyRecipes has instructions. The cake itself is made with semisweet chocolate chips, salted butter, honey, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and “coarsely broken butter cookies”—then, the whole thing is topped with a rich chocolate ganache. We can see why the Queen loves it.

Get the biscuit cake recipe here

Chocolate 

If you don’t want to make a chocolate biscuit cake, she also enjoys chocolate éclairs or a slice of chocolate perfection pie. 

Find a recipe for chocolate éclairs here.

Cookies

Last year around Christmastime, Buckingham Palace shared the recipe for its Christmas Ginger Bread Biscuits. You can't get much more official than that!

Bonus: The Crown-themed tea

Although this isn’t a pick from Queen Elizabeth herself, The Republic of Tea released two teas inspired by The Crown in 2017—one for Queen Elizabeth, and another for Winston Churchill. The Queen’s Evening Tea is still available to purchase at Cost Plus World Market, made with heirloom chamomile blossoms and sweet honey. You can also purchase the teas separately or as a gift set on The Republic of Tea’s website

The Crown Queen's Evening Tea 36 Count, $12 at worldmarket.com

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