Bakers wanted for Platinum Pudding contest

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT AND FAREHAM bakers have been invited to join a nationwide competition, which will see thousands of people try to emulate the ‘Victoria Sponge’ by creating a recipe to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June this year.

The competition entitled “Platinum Pudding” was launched by the Royal Family on Monday through social media, with the winning recipe set to be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches over the June Bank Holiday weekend and beyond the generations.

Run alongside Fortnum & Mason, the winner will hopefully be seeing their final pudding sold either online or in store with no commission offered. All proceeds and profits will instead be donated to two charities, Centrepoint and the Big Jubilee Lunch.

So who can enter? Rules state the competition is only open to UK residents over the age of eight years old with no professional bakers allowed. This can be done in families, school groups, offices or individually, but one lead entrant must be nominated for the purpose of each submission.

Entrants mustn’t have any NVQ, BTEC or any professional qualifications in baking, cooking, catering, or food production / preparation. Also disqualified from entering are those who are employed as a baker, cook or chef in a commercial organisation and those who make a livelihood in this sector.

But the term ‘pudding’ is however open to interpretation with options including a crumble, pie, cake, and tart, with the only rule being the recipe should be sweet instead of savoury. If bakers are in doubt, they are advised to imagine the final product being served for afternoon tea or after the main course.

Recipes should also be kept as simple as possible, which will allow fellow amateur bakers to recreate at home to be shared at get-togethers or street parties as part of the four-day Bank Holiday. Advice includes “keep it simple” and “think subtle but elegant”.

When recipes are finalised entrants should fill out an online form available here, with precise details of products and amounts needed throughout. This should be written in English using the metric system of measurement and the form must state all the steps of baking the recipe.

The final deadline for submissions is February 4, with the initial judging of recipes overseen by a selection of Fortnum and Mason Chefs the following week. After reviewing they will then submit between 30 to 50 entries with each of the Platinum Pudding judging panel including Dame Mary Berry and Buckingham Palace Head Chef Mark Flanagan LVO.

Round three will see the judging panel selecting five finalists to take part in the grand finale, which will be held in the week of March 14. Each finalist will be invited to the Fortnum & Mason offices in Piccadilly, London, where they will be given the opportunity to bake their recipe.  If a finalist cannot attend, this opportunity will be offered to the next runner up.

Besides the chance for the winner to be a household name, they will win a series of prizes including a competition trophy, a gift voucher of £500 for Fortnum & Mason and an afternoon tea for two in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon valued at £140. Both the winner and two runners ups will all receive a Platinum Jubilee Hamper that will include £225 worth of items.

More information on the competition can be seen on The Platinum Pudding Competition | A Recipe Fit for The Queen – Fortnum & Mason (fortnumandmason.com) and readers can watch a video launch from the Royal Family on their social media channels Instagram or Facebook.

PICTURED BY BBC NEWS: Queen Victoria has a sponge named after her honour, so why can’t our longest serving monarch get the same treatment?