Spatulas at the ready, it’s time for keen bakers to pick up their whisks and whip up a dessert fit for the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee.
The competition is inspired by dishes that were created to mark previous royal events, such as coronation chicken – a mixture of chicken, curry powder and mayonnaise that was created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
It is hoped that the new dessert will serve as a long-lasting reminder of the monarch’s 70-year-reign.
The winner will be chosen by a judging panel comprising of national treasure, Dame Mary Berry, MasterChef’s Monica Galetti, and Buckingham Palace’s own head chef, Mark Flanagan.
Dame Berry said she was “so thrilled” to be judging the competition, adding: “I hope everyone who enters has lots of fun and I wish them the very best of luck.”
But before you fire up the oven and get the measuring cups out, here’s everything you need to know about joining the royal competition:
How can I enter the Platinum Pudding competition?
The Platinum Pudding competition opens for entries on Monday 10 January. The final day to submit entries falls on Friday 4 February.
Baking enthusiasts can enter the competition by visiting the Fortnum & Mason website, or following this link.
You will be taken to a page where you enter your name, contact details, and age. Click “Next”, and you will be directed to the second part of the application.
In this section, you will be asked for more details about your bake, such as what ingredients it has, what your cooking method is, and how many people it serves.
You will also be asked to upload a photograph of the dessert, which must be “nice and clear for our judges to see your masterpiece in all its glory”.
What is the Judging Criteria for the Platinum Pudding competition?
Entrants to the competition are advised to fill out the recipe form in English and list the ingredients in metric measurements. The judges urge those applying to “ensure the ingredients list is 100 per cent accurate – even a degree of imprecision will affect the flavour”.
Your very own queen of puddings must fulfil the following criteria; it must be delicious, easy enough for anyone to recreate at home, be inspired by a story, and look fit for the Queen.
Entries will go through four rounds of judging, with just five finalists to be chosen in the week commencing 21 February. The five finalists will then be invited to prepare their pudding a “live bake” round and the winning recipe will be made available to the public.
The pudding will be “enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches during the Jubilee weekend and by generations to come”, Buckingham Palace said.
What counts as a pudding?
Puddings can come in all shapes and forms, but while all desserts are puddings, not all puddings are desserts.
Examples of savoury puddings include haggis, blood pudding and white pudding. However, for the Platinum Pudding Competition, the judges are looking for sweet entries only.
According culinary author and historian Regula Ysewijn, modern steamed puddings are usually made with sponge cake batter or a rich fruitcake batter, cooked in either one large pudding mould or small individual ones.
There are also baked puddings, such as tarts and pies, as well as bread puddings which are usually made with bread, cream or egg mixture, and fruit.
Batter puddings, such as Yorkshire puddings or fritters, are made with a light pancake-type batter. Milk puddings are sweet, delicately flavoured treats made with animal milk, almond or oat milk – think creams, custards and ice creams.
Jellies are also a type of pudding, says Ysewijn, and are set with either vegetable or grain starches, or animal-derived gelatine. They can be shaped in mould and can come in an array of colours.
How can I make my Platinum Pudding stand out?
Royal head chef Mark Flanagan advises entrants to keep your recipes simple and to focus on “subtle and elegant rather than fussy and over complicated”. You should also ensure your flavours “sing”.
Apart from being delicious and easy enough for people everywhere to recreate, judges will also be looking for a good story behind the winning entry.
“A good pudding is made with passion and pride, so we’d love to hear the story behind your entry,” the judges say. “Perhaps the recipe was inspired by Her Majesty The Queen’s life, has been handed down through the generations of your family, or recalls one of your own special memories.”
You can also pull out all the stops to make sure your dessert looks fabulous to make it stand out. It will be served to the Queen, after all, so try to make your decorative flourishes as neat and elegant as you can.
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