This Morning's Royal Picnic

This Morning's Royal Picnic

Former Chef to Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, Darren McGrady is in the This Morning kitchen to rustle up a royal picnic menu fit for a king or queen.

Loaded Potato Skins


  • 8 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked crispy bacon
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • oil for deep frying


  1. Bake the potatoes at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly;
  2. Cut in half lengthwise and then half again so you have 4 pieces. Scoop out the pulp, leaving ½ inch in the shell.
  3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and drop the potatoes in. Cook until golden brown and remove to paper towel to cool and drain off excess oil.
  4. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, skin side down. Season with salt and then top with the cheddar, spring onions, crispy bacon, and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and skins are crisp. Serve with the sour cream.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake


  • 4 ounces dark chocolate.(for the cake)
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar.
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter. (softened)
  • 1 egg.
  • 8 ounces Rich tea biscuits.
  • ½ teaspoon butter for greasing.
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (for coating)
  • 1 ounce chocolate (for decoration)


  1. Lightly grease a 6 inch by 2 ½ inch cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.
  4. Melt the 4 ounces of chocolate and add to the butter mixture whilst constantly stirring.
  5. Beat in the egg to the mixture.
  6. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded.
  8. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
  9. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of chocolate.
  10. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.
  11. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.
  12. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.
  13. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.
  14. Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

Caramel Banana Bread


For the cake:

  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)
  • 1 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a deep cake tin, 18 x 9" or two 9x deep cake tins.
  2. Prepare the sponge by creaming the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and banana and beat together. Stir in the flour, soda, sour cream, milk and vanilla paste until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour into the prepared tray, smooth out and bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched and is a golden brown.
  4. Allow the sponge to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Prepare the frosting by melting the butter and sugar in a pan. Stir without boiling for about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla paste.
  6. Leave the frosting to cool slightly and thicken.
  7. Spread a little of the frosting on top of one of the cakes, then place the other cake on top. spoon more frosting on top.
  8. Cut into fingers and serve.


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