The historic royal palaces Chief Curator shares two regal recipes from Tea Fit For A Queen


Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Scones

225g self-raising flour
A good pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra to serve
40g Parmesan, finely grated
3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
40g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped, plus 8 pieces to decorate
125-150ml milk, plus extra for brushing
Pea shoots or watercress, to serve

Serving these moreish little savoury scones alongside their sweet counterparts are the perfect balance to all the sugar. They’re best served warm straight from the oven with a slick of butter or leave them to cool then halve and fill them with sprigs of pea shoots or watercress.
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the Parmesan, thyme leaves and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Use a round-bladed knife to stir everything together to make a rough dough. Bring it together with your hands then tip it gently on to a board and knead it lightly and quickly until the dough is smooth.
3. Pat down and shape into a round, about 2.5cm thick. Cut out8rounds using a 6cm cutter, re-rolling the dough as necessary, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Push a piece of sun-dried tomato into the top of each one. Brush with a little milk and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until just golden.
4. Serve spread with a little butter and stuffed with a few pea shoots or watercress leaves. Store, unfilled, in an airtight container for up to three days.

Dark Chocolate Squares

150g unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra to grease
200g dark chocolate (minimum 50 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
175g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder To decorate
150ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar

There’s no doubt that chocolate is a favourite ingredient in the royal household. Both Prince William and his grandmother are partial to a slice of chocolate fridge cake, while the Queen’s 80th birthday cake was a rich chocolate sponge. So our dainty little cocoa squares are a teatime treat truly fit for a queen.
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ gas. Grease and line a 19cm square cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter and 150g of the chocolate in a pan over a low heat. Carefully mix together then set aside to cool a little.
2. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a bowl using an electric hand whisk until the mixture is moussey and falls in thick ribbons when the whisks are lifted. Sift over the flour and cocoa powder then add the melted chocolate mixture along with the remaining chopped chocolate. Fold everything together carefully using a large metal spoon.
3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until firm. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To serve, whip the double cream with the icing sugar until just firm. Cut the cake into 25 squares and spoon a little whipped cream on top of each. Top each with a raspberry.
Tea Fit For a Queen, in association with historic royal Palaces, (ebury Press, hardback £10), with photography by Jan Baldwin, is out now. OK!