Almost seven decades after the invention of the Coronation Chicken, the public were invited to suggest a dessert celebrating the Queen’s 70th reign.
Fortnum & Mason has started a contest for people to come up with ideas for Platinum Pudding. The competition will be judged by a panel including members of the royal family like Dame Mary Berry.
Guardian readers were invited to send in their ideas via a caption on what they think the new dish should be – from Eton’s messes to a vegetarian version of Queen Elizabeth Chicken.
Drop scones – “the queen sent her recipe to President Eisenhower in 1960”
For neurologist Ian Coyle-Gilchrist, the right pudding to mark the Queen’s 70th reign has some historical significance. Coyle-Gilchrist, 38, would give away the prize for dropping scones.
“The Queen wrote to President Eisenhower in 1960 with her recipe for scones. [which he apparently particularly enjoyed, according to a Guardian report]”said the 38-year-old from Foxton, Cambridgeshire.
Although he’s already made scones – although “not for a very long time” – Coyle-Gilchrist says he’s not really a baker himself and doesn’t have a recipe on hand. However, he chose the dish because he believes that “a reliable and traditional recipe represents the Queen quite well”.
“The fact that it has been used effectively to represent the Commonwealth in international diplomacy makes it even more appropriate,” adds Coyle-Gilchrist.
Bagatelle – “a summer reinvention of a traditional bagatelle”
For amateur baker Julie M Palmer, 59, a “reinvention of a traditional trifle” for the summer months is the perfect choice. Palmer, a marketing and communications manager in East Ayrshire, is going for a trifle because she says “this is something that can be done by anyone”.
“I’m thinking of reinventing a traditional trifle: a Victoria sponge recipe for the bottom soaked in champagne, a layer of strawberry mousse, a layer of apple jelly, a custard with peas and an Italian meringue on top”, Palmer said, adding that the champagne could be exchanged for English sparkling wine.
The 59-year-old says she chose the “fresh and sweet” flavors “to conjure memories of a summer day” that the Queen will be celebrating in June. Palmer, who started cooking in 2019, says it’s her “dream to appear on the Great British Bake Off” but adds that she “isn’t quite there yet.”
She says she’s only ever made a traditional sherry trifle before, but she’s going to have to try this recipe.
“Eton mess – let’s face it, our current political situation is a mess”
James Henry Mills in Stourbridge said his pudding of choice would be Eton’s mess. “Let’s face it, our current political situation is a mess,” said the 77-year-old retiree. “The Prime Minister is an Eton boy and Eton tends to produce our leaders who over the years have made a mess.”
Mills said he was among those who remembered the Queen’s coronation, but came closer to the idea that “she was becoming more and more irrelevant.”
“Why do we need a pudding anyway? I appreciate that she brings a great wealth of good feelings to the land due to her long reign, but I think it’s best to get rid of the whole selfish structure including all those lords and ladies.
‘Queen Elizabeth Tofu – accessible to all’
While it certainly wouldn’t exceed the pudding standards Fortnum & Mason described on their website, the suggestion from Rebecca Taylor, a 36-year-old nurse in York, seemed like a sign of the times.
“I used to love Coronation Chicken, but now I make Coronation Tofu,” she says. “Whatever it is, it has to be made from sustainable ingredients that don’t have an adverse effect on climate change.”
Taylor, who has been a vegan for three years, says it was important that the winning prize was “something delicious, allergen-free and easy to prepare, so accessible to everyone.”
Since adopting a plant-based diet after visiting a dairy farm, she has become “more aware of the ecological effects of damage caused by meat and dairy products to the world,” stressing the importance of making ” sustainable choices while enjoying food “.
Banana Bread – “Weren’t we making them all during the lockdown?” “
And Christine Elaine Daviesma from Macclesfield, Cheshire suggested banana bread because “weren’t we making them all during the lockdown?”
Daviesma, 62, said her first thought when thinking of a suggestion was “everyone come together”. “We all love the Queen and we’ve all struggled a bit for the past two years, so how about some banana bread?”
“They’re pretty easy to make and it’s a good way to use up those ugly bananas that turn black when left out for too long.” I’m making up the recipe as I go, but it’s something we can all do together.