Much noise has been made around the Platinum Pudding Competition, a contest launched in 2021 to come up with the ultimate dessert, dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Over 5,000 entries were narrowed down to five finalists, and the triumphant winner was Jemma Melvin, for her lemon roll and amaretti trifle pudding.
A trifle is usually quite simple: layers of cubed or crumbled cake, often soaked in sherry, topped with fruit in sauce or jam, custard, often with a layer of jelly and whipped cream.
There are elaborate versions, of course, but this one may take the cake. It contains seven distinct elements, from the Swiss roll at the bottom, to the amaretti cookies in the middle, to the white chocolate bark filling – and the whole production is said to take over two hours of prep time and serve 20 people. .
Although the recipe is easily cut in half, you can streamline the process by purchasing some of the items rather than crafting them.
We talked about this now famous trifle on the Calgary Eyeopenerand I made a slightly simplified version, plated on a deep tray rather than the traditional straight-stemmed glass bowl.
Make your own trifle
A few notes on my own platinum trifle experience: the recipe calls for caster sugar, which is slightly finer granulated sugar, often referred to as berry sugar or bar sugar here. It’s not necessary – I used regular granulated sugar in the same amounts.
The recipe calls for double cream, which is about 45% fat. Whipped cream, which is about 35%, would be a substitute here. If you can find whipping cream from Vital Green Farms, it is 52% fat.
A jelly roll is actually quite simple and satisfying to make. This version calls for 9½ x 13½ inch jelly roll pans, but you should be able to get by with a similar sized rimmed baking sheet. I used half a baking sheet and rolled out the dough only halfway. You can increase the volume of the ingredients by 1½, or even double it, to cook on a half plate.
I made very simple amaretti using a 2:1 ratio of ground almonds and pure maple syrup, but of course you can use Jemma’s recipe or buy them. For the custard, feel free to make a batch with Bird’s Custard Powder – I did!
One version of the official recipe on the Fortnum & Mason website calls for arrowroot to thicken the tangerine coulis and another does not. You will need some to thicken the mixture. I used tapioca starch instead, or you can use cornstarch, but both will need to be cooked for a minute to thicken.
Since I’m not a big fan of white chocolate, I made caramelized sugar slivers instead. Heat about 1/3 cup sugar in a small skillet until it begins to melt, then stir the pan periodically when it turns golden brown. Pour onto a sheet of parchment paper or lined with aluminum foil, tilt to form a thin puddle and let cool completely. Grind into pieces and use as a garnish.
I discovered candied ginger in my pastry drawer, so I thinly sliced some and sprinkled it on top. Toasted sliced almonds would also be excellent.
Feel free to sprinkle your lemon roll with sherry or an orange liqueur, such as Cointreau, if you like a boozy trifle.