Food fit for a Queen's Diamond JubileeBy Linda Fort
April 24, 2012
Right Royal celebrations will abound in June to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Linda Fort takes a look at some regal recipes to give your street party aristocratic appeal
The place to start is Coronation Chicken which was apparently served at the Queen’s coronation lunch in 1953.
Rosemary Hume and Constance Spry are credited with the invention of the dish.
Although posh modern versions are made with aromatic herbs and spices, the real thing should be made with good old-fashioned curry paste.
The curry paste gives it that characteristic yellowish khaki colour which cannot be bettered.
And if it was good enough for Her Majesty it should certainly be good enough for a 2012 street party to celebrate her accession to the throne.
Original Coronation Chicken
2.3kg (5lb) chicken
1tbsp vegetable oil
One small finely chopped onion
1tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml red wine
1 bay leaf
Juice of ½ lemon
4 finely chopped apricot halves
½ pint mayonnaise
4fl oz whipping cream
salt and pepper
watercress to garnish.
Skin chicken, cut into small pieces and grill until cooked.
Heat oil in a small saucepan and add the onion and cook for about three minutes until softened. Add the curry paste, tomato puree, wine, bay leaf and lemon juice.
Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until well reduced. Strain and leave to cool.
Puree the chopped apricot halves in a blender or through a sieve. Beat the cooled sauce into the mayonnaise with the apricot puree.
Whip the cream into stiff peaks and fold into the mixture. Season adding a little extra lemon juice if necessary. Fold in the chicken pieces, garnish with watercress and serve.
To give it that truly 1950s appeal, the apricot halves should certainly come from a tin and we didn’t see vegetable oil in our house until well into the 1960s.
As for olive oil – that was bought “loose” from the chemist and you used it for dripping in your ears or some such medicinal thing – certainly not for cooking.
Once the authentic coronation chicken is complete there are plenty more royal recipes to explore.
Queen Cakes are simple individual sponge cakes in little paper cases with sultanas.
They couldn’t be simpler.
100g caster sugar
Two eggs beaten
100g self-raising flour
Spread out 16 paper cases on a baking sheet.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg a little at a time.
Fold in the flour and then the fruit.
Fill the paper cases half full and bake in an oven heated to 190ºC/340ºF or gas mark 5 for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Other recipes simply replace the sultanas with chocolate chips.
Queen of Puddings
Queen of Puddings is another celebratory dish to dole out for the Jubilee.
1 pint milk
110g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g golden caster sugar (plus one extra tsp)
Grated zest of one small lemon
2 large eggs
3 tbsp raspberry jam
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF or gas mark 4.
Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, breadcrumbs, 25g of the sugar and the lemon zest and allow to stand for 20 minutes.
Separate the eggs, lightly beat the yolks and add them to the cooled breadcrumb mixture.
Pour into a pie dish and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until it sets.
In a small saucepan melt the jam then spread it over the top of the baked egg and breadcrumb mixture.
Next, make the meringue: whisking the egg whites in a large very clean bowl until stiff.
Whisk in 25g of the caster sugar and spoon the meringue over the jam layer.
Sprinkle the final teaspoon of caster sugar over the top and bake for 10 more minutes until the topping is golden brown.
For finger foods these diamond-shaped goodies from an American recipe would be easy to serve at a street party.
Diamond shapes, of course, could be used for almost anything from sardines on toast and tiny crustless sandwiches to short bread biscuits and chocolate brownies.
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well stirring in the flour.
Spread on to a greased 15in x 10in shallow baking tin and bake at 160ºC/325ºF or gas mark 3 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and return to the oven until they are melted.
Sprinkle with walnuts and coconut and cool on a wire rack.
Cut into diamond shapes.
The Queen Elizabeth Cake
The Queen Elizabeth Cake is the crowning glory for the party.
160g dates, chopped
½tsp bicarbonate soda
125g unsalted butter (softened)
230g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour
For the topping:
60g unsalted butter
95g soft brown sugar
90g shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) or gas mark 4. Line and lightly grease a 20cm square cake tin.
Place the dates and bicarbonate soda in a bowl.
Add 1 cup boiling water, stir to combine and set aside for 15 minutes, stirring often until the dates have softened and absorbed most of the water.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat together. Add half the flour and half the date mixture and beat then add the remaining flour and date mixture.
Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden.
Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. When it comes out dry and clean, it’s done.
Remove cake from the oven and leave in the tin while preparing the topping.
Put the butter, cream, brown sugar and half of the coconut in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until just combined.
Pour evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle over the remaining coconut.
Cook under a hot grill until the coconut is golden.
And the trappings …
To all these party ingredients, add bunting, Queen Elizabeth-shaped jelly moulds, trestle tables, Union Flags, paper crowns and a gigantic dollop of luke-warm patriotism, sprinkle with rain and retire indoors.