Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.
Daily Mirror

'I made the Platinum Jubilee Pudding - it was a disaster and I'm never baking again'

Victoria Sponge and Coronation Chicken are two royally-themed dishes which have become British staples, and another is about to join the ranks - the Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti trifle.

The show-stopping dessert, created by Jemma Melvin from Southport, has been crowned the winner of Fortnum and Mason and the Big Jubilee Lunch Charity's Platinum Pudding contest.

People up and down the country were invited to invent their own desserts to celebrate the Queen's 70 years on the throne - and the competition was tough.

This week Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, announced the delicious-looking trifle as the winner, and my boss tasked me with attempting to make it.

I was keen to give it a go, but I'll be honest - it was a disaster.

Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong and my Bake Off dreams have been well and truly shattered.

Everything that could go wrong, went wrong (Courtney Pochin)

Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here.

I'm going to start by saying that if you plan to make all six layers of the trifle from scratch, it will cost you a pretty penny.

Not being a particularly skilled baker, I didn't have all the equipment I needed at home, so had to nip out and find them.

The instructions require two Swiss roll tins and a trifle dish. I own none of these things, so popped to John Lewis but they didn't have any of it in stock so I had to make do with a glass Pyrex bowl. Not a great start and the Queen definitely wouldn't approve.

To my horror, these three items alone set me back £32.59 and by the time I had bought all the other ingredients the bill was a staggering £76.59 - and that was using all Tesco own brand items (except for the Amaretto as they only had Disarono left in-store).

This cost could be reduced if you used ready-made ingredients instead of doing all the hard work, but clearly, I'm a masochist.

The Swiss roll ended up being a bit rubbery (Courtney Pochin)
Pastry chef Matt Adlard thought I'd made hash browns instead of amaretti biscuits - oh dear (Courtney Pochin)

The trifle is comprised of Swiss rolls filled with lemon curd, St Clement's jelly, custard, amaretti biscuits, chunky mandarin coulis, whipped cream and shards of jewelled white chocolate bark.

As I've never made any of these things before, I tried to follow the recipe very carefully, but chaos ensued and my kitchen may never recover.

Jemma's instructions recommend using an electric whisk to beat the eggs and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. I don't own an electric whisk so had to do it by hand and it was the most exercise I've done in a while.

But the slog of whisking turned out to be pointless as I soon realised I'd messed up my measurements and hadn't made enough batter to cover the entire tin. So I had to do it all over again.

After what seemed like a million years, I baked a cake. It ended up being rather rubbery, but it looked like a Swiss roll, so there was no more time to waste and it was on to the next task.

The swirls weren't very tight (Courtney Pochin)

Second was the lemon curd, which was perhaps the only part of the baking process that went quite smoothly - once I'd worked out the correct way to zest a lemon. You definitely can't use a regular cheese grater for this, but I definitely tried to.

The St Clement's Jelly layer didn't go horrendously wrong but I didn't make enough and when assembling the trifle, the jelly had already started to set because I'd taken so long to finish everything else, so it sort of awkwardly splodged on top of the swiss roll. Whoops.

I'll be honest, by this point, I was starting to lose some of my royal, Jubilee cheer. And it was time to move onto the custard. As you might have come to expect, I had several more setbacks here.

I was already well over the two hour prep time on the recipe, so you can imagine my frustration when I burned the cream and had to start over. This involved an unscheduled trip to Tesco Express to stock up on yet another pot of double cream. I bet the Queen doesn't have these problems.

My custard split and the mandarin coulis didn't go to plan... (Courtney Pochin)
It's finally finished! (Courtney Pochin)

Once back things finally seemed to be going well and I thought I'd cracked the custard, but when I poured it into a bowl to cool, the glossy sauce suddenly turned gloopy and split, looking more like scrambled egg than custard. I was gutted.

But I didn't have any extra ingredients to give it another go and I'd already taken up too much time, so it would just have to do.

Making the amaretti biscuits was easier than I'd expected - although once again it involved a strenuous arm workout whipping the egg whites so they were firm.

My biscuits weren't quite as nice and neat as Jemma's, but that's kind of the running theme here.

The look of love now that it's over (Courtney Pochin)

The only things left were the mandarin coulis and the jewelled chocolate bark. The latter was quick and simple to make - by far the easiest part of the whole thing.

The coulis, however, ended up being less of a coulis, and more of a mandarin smush.

I accidentally missed a crucial ingredient - arrowroot - which is used to thicken the mandarin mix into a coulis. I couldn't afford another supermarket visit, so I decided to crack on without it. Sorry, Jemma, I'm not doing your pudding justice!

Almost six hours after I started, I whipped up that extra cream for the topping and it was FINALLY time to assemble the whole thing.

I have to be honest, despite all the mishaps, the end result didn't look as bad as it could have. I guess that's the beauty of a trifle, the layers hide some of the mess.

My Swiss rolls weren't swirled tightly enough, I didn't have enough jelly, my custard split, my coulis wasn't really coulis - but at the end of the day, I'd still managed to make a trifle.

While I'm pretty proud of myself for doing it all from scratch, I wasn't so sure an expert would be quite as impressed.

I asked Matthew Adlard, one of the Platinum Pudding competition judges to give his verdict on my attempt, as he knows what the trifle should actually look like.

Shockingly he gave it a very respectable 7/10 - though I think that was partly to avoid hurting my feelings.

He said: "I've got to say it looks very good! There's clearly been a little issue with the sponge, they've unrolled and the curd is spilling out, but that's on the bottom of the bowl so you can't see it anyways.

"I thought you'd mistakenly sent a picture of some hash browns instead of amaretti biscuits, but they look like they have a very even bake.

"Overall it looks like your show-stopper has to be those chocolate shards. Really sharp edges and an even thickness - and they help draw the eye away from the unravelling sponge at the bottom! But I would say a solid 7/10."

Will you be making the Platinum Pudding? Let us know in the comments below.