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Why a lemon dessert was deemed fit for the queen

A lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle won a UK-wide competition to become the official pudding of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Jemma Melvin, the Platinum Jubilee Pudding winner poses for the media with her creation, at a department store in London, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

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Last week, a layered dessert—the British prefer the term pudding—beat 5000 entries to win a countrywide competition in the UK. It was about finding a pudding fit for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and the month-long celebration started over the weekend. Queen Elizabeth II is the first among the British royals to complete 70 years on the throne.

The decadent pudding, is layered with Swiss rolls, custard, lemon curd, jelly, amaretti biscuits, a mandarin coulis and topped with white chocolate bark. It was developed by Jemma Melvin, a 31-year-old copy editor from the UK. To create this dessert, she drew inspiration from the lemon posset served at the Queen's wedding to Prince Philip.

In an interview with the BBC, Melvin shared she wanted it to be the ‘people’s pudding’ and the recipe is easy enough for anyone to recreate. The recipe, Lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle, is published on For those wondering, amaretti is a type of biscuit or cookie.

The recipe isn’t simple by any stretch of imagination. It serves 20 people and each element—from the custard, coulis, mandarin jelly, Swiss roll and amaretti biscuits—is made from scratch. Also, it can take close to four hours to prepare. Melvin shares the recipe of the chocolate barks too, but perhaps a little cheating is okay and these can be bought from a store.

British journalist Rachel Cooke shared her experience of recreating this recipe in a story titled, I made the platinum jubilee pudding … and what a faff it was, published in The Observer.

In her story, Cooke shares an interesting insight borrowed from food historian called Regula Ysewijn which goes like this: “Our story is written in our food; that each decade comes with its defining dishes, and that these may tell us more about ourselves than we imagine, not all of it good.” Cooke notes the ‘outrageously sweet’ pudding signifies ‘a nation that may have lost sight of what the word treat really means.’

Also read | How you can have your cake and eat it too

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