I’m old enough to remember the first silver jubilee in 1977. My road in Highgate, Cholmeley Park, had a street party. As a punk I dressed in a mini-skirt made from a plastic Union Jack shopping bag. While helping to put up the bunting on the street lamps, a neighbour said to my mum ‘Have you seen that awful girl? I blame the parents’. My mum laughed and said ‘I agree entirely. That’s my daughter.’
I left early to go to a Sunday night punk gig at The Roundhouse. I think I saw the Ramones and the Damned.
This year, from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th of June, Britain will enjoy a long bank holiday weekend to celebrate our Queen’s platinum jubilee. I’ve created a couple of precious metal recipes to celebrate. Gold and silver are not only safe to ingest but are good for you. I was once prescribed ‘Aurum’ or gold as a remedy by a homeopath. I felt like I was on ecstasy. It made me happy. You can buy it in leaf form or as a powder.
The Indians use gold and silver leaf in their recipes. I’ve made a silver Barfi recipe to celebrate her majesties’ 70 glorious years on the throne. For me, it represents not only Queen Elizabeth but also the UK, the commonwealth and the incredible contribution that our former empire made to British cuisine. Don’t worry, this isn’t too sweet as some of the Indian sweets can be, but I love the fudgy texture. It lasts for many weeks in a plastic container and isn’t hard to make.
Secondly there is a recipe for gold and clementine jelly from my book MsMarmitelover’s Secret Tea Party.
- 20 x 15 cm square/rectangular cake tin
- 1 tsp neutral vegetable oil for greasing
- 125 g ghee
- 250 ml whole milk
- 500 g full milk powder
- 100 g icing sugar
- pinch saffron, ground
- pinch sea salt
- 100 g pistachio nibs
- gold or silver leaf
Grease the baking tin
In a medium pan on a low heat, mix the ghee and the milk and simmer until hot. Do not let it boil.
Add the milk powder and the sugar, beating until smooth.
Add the saffron and cook until it reaches 118C.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Press the pistachio nibs into the top of the barfi.
Allow to set for a couple of hours then press the gold or silver leaf on to the top of the barfi.
When completely cool, cut into squares or diamonds. Serve with tea or chai.
Gold and clementine jubilee jelly
This is a wonderfully tangy, sweet centrepiece. You want the gold to stand out so if using a mould, put the gold leaf in first, so that when you turn it out it will be on top. With a bowl put the gold leaf in last.
- jelly mould or bowl (at least 500ml volume)
- small clean paint brush
- 5 leaves platinum gelatine leaves
- 450 ml orange juice
- 50 g caster sugar
- 50 ml cointreau or triple sec liqueur (optional)
- 1 or 2 sheets gold leaf, broken into pieces
- 5 clementines, peeled and segmented, removing the white pith.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water. Squeeze out the water, then put them in a Bain-marie and cover with the fruit juice.
Add the caster sugar and gently heat until the sugar and gelatine have dissolved.
If using, remove from the heat and add the liqueur.
If using a mould, scrunch up some foil on a tray and upend the mould on to it. Pour in a thin layer of jelly, about 5mm in depth, into the mould or bowl.
Using the paint brush, transfer the gold leaf pieces onto the thin jelly layer.
Then pour in some more jelly, to about 3cm depth and add some of the clementine segments. Put it into the fridge to set.
Once set, add half of the remaining jelly and more clementine segments. Return to the fridge to set again. Repeat as necessary until you have used up all the jelly and most of the clementine segments. (You will need a few for decoration).
Return to the fridge to set completely.
After 4 to 6 hours you can unmould the jelly or simply serve from the bowl.
Wet your presentation plate beforehand so that you can position the jelly, then unmould the jelly on to it. Decorative with the remaining clementine segments and serve.