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'We joined the Queen's Platinum Jubilee baking competition and this is how it went'



Creating a pudding fit for a Queen is the challenge set for millions of Brits to celebrate Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee.

Here, our intrepid columnists attempt to come up with a dessert that sums up her 70-year reign…

Lynne’s Jubilee Pudding

Paul (& Mrs) Routledge

This is our family Jubilee pudding tribute to Her Majesty, to mark her 70th year on the throne.

It’s a multi-coloured rainbow trifle, created by Mrs R, with a little help (interference, she calls it) from me. Based on a traditional recipe, the dessert is made in a cut-glass bowl that’s even older than the Queen, handed down from a paternal grandmother.

The simple ingredients for our pandemic economy dessert come from the local Co-op.







Paul Routledge serves up his Platinum Jubilee Trifle for the Queen with a little help from his wife
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Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

Here we go. First, in goes the raspberry and vanilla swiss roll segments, with a dash of Cointreau from cook’s secret cupboard. Next, the strawberry jelly and strawberries (tinned), followed by jelly with mandarin oranges. Plus another slurp of Cointreau and some choice kitchen language from cook.

We’re not talking prim Mrs Bridges of Upstairs, Downstairs, here.

Finally, comes the custard, two tins poured liberally over the creation.

When it shows signs of hardening, the decorator, your reporter, takes over. I spell out E II R in Smarties, with the figure 70 picked out on a panel of icing.

The rainbow effect I provide with a tube of hundreds and thousands, arranged in a semi-circle.







Mrs Routledge adds the custard
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Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

This effort requires a swift glass of Co-op Fairtrade Saint-Emilion blanc, a la celebrity chef Keith Floyd, except he always had red. A bit early for that.

There’s custard all over the place – hands, face, space. Now I know why jam making is so hazardous.

Voila! The Jubilee tribute is now complete, at a cost of just under a tenner for the ingredients.

This is the People’s Pudding for the Queen. And it doesn’t need an oven. We’re old enough to remember her becoming monarch. This is our history, too.

All we have to do now is find enough people who want to eat the trifle, because it won’t last until June.

I’m no great fan of it myself, it’s more to Mrs R’s taste. But I did get to clean out the jelly dish.







The cake is based on a traditional recipe
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Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

Recipe

Ingredients: One Swiss roll, 43g; Cointreau; two 125g strawberry jellies; 410g tin of strawberries in light syrup; three 123g tubs of Dole fruit in jelly, mandarins in orange; two 400g tins of Ambrosia Devon Custard

Method: 1. Lay sliced Swiss roll at bottom of bowl, add slurp of Cointreau.

2. Spread on the two jellies.

3. Smother with strawberries.

4. Further double-slurp of Cointreau.

5. Chuck in three tubs of fruit in jelly, mandarins in orange.

6. Top off with two tins of custard.

7. Decorate with hundreds and thousands, Smarties and left-over Christmas cake icing/marzipan.

8. Put in fridge overnight, then serve.

Calorific value: Half-marathon







Paul’s choice is a multi-coloured rainbow trifle
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Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

Gin & Dubonnet Cake

Siobhan McNally

It’s said the Queen has been ­advised to give up her daily ­tipple of gin and Dubonnet for health reasons.

But there isn’t a royal flunky in the land who would dare say Her Majesty couldn’t have her cake and eat it.

So instead of having a gin and Dubonnet, or “Zaza” on the rocks, my cunning plan was to serve it in cake form, covered in patriotic red, white and blue sprinkles and a strawberry crown.

Chatting to my daughter about how to create this boozy regal cake, Jess, also known as The Dark Lord, said, “How about making a lemon drizzle cake with gin?”

“Lovely idea, darling,” I replied, looking at my watch, “but it’s a bit early, even for me.”







Siobhan with all the royal ingredients
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Image:

Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Turns out she meant gin in lemon syrup drizzled on a Queen Victoria sponge, which was nothing short of genius.

And while the Queen likes her Dubonnet with ice cubes, we made Dubonnet icing – which turned it pink – and poured it over the sponge. The Dark Lord is more of an ideas person, so I was left to make the syrup, bake the sponges, and prepare the decorations, ready for the chef de Dark Lord to do the final flourishes – mainly chucking red, blue and white ­sprinkles all over the kitchen and snaffling the strawberries.

“Oi, sod off, those are for the cake,” I said, shooing her away, and finished the topping with edible platinum spray and silver balls, which kept rolling into my pug Boris’s mouth under the table.







Boris the pug checks out the dubonnet icing
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Image:

Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

My shopping list included items with the seal of the Royal Warrant – from Gordon’s Gin to Tiptree’s jam, Rich Tea biscuits, and the fortified wine Dubonnet, which tastes like Campari and wino fave Buckfast Tonic Wine.

Sampling the results, we had ­afternoon tea fit for a Queen. I needed a stiff gin and Dubonnet, while The Dark Lord nibbled the Rich Tea biccies dipped in pink icing and sprinkles.

“Do have a Dubonnet,” said a sultry voice in the 1970s TV ad, which is probably when the drink was last in fashion, so I popped a sticky slice on my plate and said, “Don’t mind if I do, your Maj.”







Jess helps decorate the cake with mum Siobhan
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Image:

Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Recipe

Ingredients: Sponge: 225g self-raising flour; 225g butter; 225g caster sugar; 4 eggs; grated lemon zest; lemon curd; raspberry jam.

Syrup: Juice of 2 lemons; 100g sugar; 75ml gin, plus slug to taste

Icing: 300g icing sugar; 50ml Dubonnet

Method:

1. Pour yourself a stiff gin and Dubonnet. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Cream soft butter with sugar. Continue to mix and add eggs one at a time to avoid curdling.

4. Add flour and lemon zest until everything is thoroughly mixed.

5. Divide between two 20cm cake tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. While the cakes cook, make the syrup. Tip the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and 75ml gin. Simmer for five mins until reduced and syrupy, then remove from heat and add a slug of cold gin for taste.

7. Make the icing by mixing icing sugar with Dubonnet until you get the soft, thick pink glossing consistency you want.

8. Turn out cakes and, while cooling, skewer the tops of cakes and drizzle over the syrup.

9. When sponges are cool, spread raspberry on one side, lemon curd on the other and close up to make a Victoria sponge.

10. Pour icing over the cake until it is well covered, then while still sticky, add lots of sprinkles, using the cup of your hands to stick them to the side. Decorate with fruit or sweets and finish with edible silver spray and balls.

11. Polish off the rest of your cocktail. Bottoms up, everyone!







Siobhan’s finished cake
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Image:

Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Rich Ornamental Sponge

Brian Reade

What kind of cake do you make for the woman who has eaten everything?

I thought about making an Eton Mess to commemorate the five Old Etonian Prime Ministers who have served her. But realised the mess we’re in now due to the latest one might make her use it like a clown uses a custard pie.

Then I thought of making her a tart. But realised she’s probably sick of hearing that word screamed at the TV by one of her sons whenever the news comes on. So I thought I’d make one that summed up the essence of every monarch we’ve had: A rich, ornamental sponge.

Thinking up the name was the easy bit. Making it the hard part because the only thing I’d ever baked before was a potato.







Brian Reade working his cookery magic in his kitchen
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Image:

Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

I didn’t have an electric whisk so beating the butter and sugar together until everything was pale and fluffy beat me.

I cracked in the eggs, dropped in the flour, milk and lemon juice, and hand-whisked away.

But it looked like something that had been regurgitated outside a kebab shop on a Saturday night.

So, up against the clock and on the verge of a breakdown, I had a dilemma. Do I terminate my effort, making it the Great British Sod Off? Or do I think outside the cake box? And then I realised that the Queen wouldn’t be doing the hard bit herself would she? And this pudding is supposed to sum her up.







Brian tries to bake a dessert cake fit for the Queen
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Image:

Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

So I begged the female members of our non-Royal household to do the baking bit for me (sexist maybe but they’ve done this thing before). And their sponge turned out fine.

But that was only a third of it. I needed to add the rich and the ornamental bits. So I poured on some golden syrup and added a splash of Glenmorangie whisky before sprinkling some golden baubles.

For the ornamental section I stuck on the number 70 to represent her years on the throne and three stars to represent all of her children who are still allowed out in public.

And there it was. My very own rich, ornamental sponge. Will she like it, you ask? Well, I hope so. But, to be honest, I’m guessing like most things Republicans do, it will leave a bad taste in her mouth.







Brian adds syrup to the cake
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Image:

Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

Recipe

Ingredients: 110g flour; 110g sugar; 110g butter; 2 eggs (for a modest 7in/18cm cake); juice and zest of half a lemon; few drops of vanilla essence; pinch of salt; raspberry jam and double cream, whipped, for filling; splodge of syrup and some whisky for decorations

Method:

1 Heat oven to 180C/160C and butter the base of two cake tins with baking parchment.

2 Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add two eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, flour and a pinch of salt. Whisk until just combined then divide the mixture between the two tins.

3 Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 mins. After 10 mins remove from tins and cool. Fill with jam and cream.

4 Add syrup, whisky, rose gold sprinkles, numbers and stars

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