The Spicy And Sweet Coronation Trifle By A Michelin-Starred Chef

The May 6, 2023 Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla will likely be remembered for being rich in both royal tradition and personal touches. That, of course, includes the official Coronation trifle, the recipe for which was created for the nation's festivities by Michelin-starred chef Adam Handling. 

In essence, an English trifle is a serving bowl-sized parfait layered with cake, custard, fruit, jelly, and cream, and it's been a beloved British dessert since the 16th century. Traditionally, it's made with liqueur-soaked sponge cake. For the Coronation, however, it takes a non-traditional turn with a sweet, sticky, and ginger-spiced loaf cake known as Yorkshire parkin. Dating back to Victorian times, Yorkshire parkin invokes a warm and vaguely working-class vibe. Accordingly, it would tend to dovetail nicely with Charles' stated intention to nurture a more "accessible" monarchy. 

The custard layers are, likewise, imbued with a warm ginger flavor. But the featured fruit is entirely traditional: fresh strawberries, which happen to be at the height of their season in England in May. Whether or not that makes the recipe for this official Coronation trifle a spicy and sweet nod to the King's dedication to environmental sustainability, only Chef Handling could say for sure. 

So, who is this Michelin-starred chef, Adam Handling?

Adam Handling is an award-winning chef and owner of four British restaurants, including his flagship, The Frog, which is the recipient of one Michelin star — meaning, essentially, that it is worth a stop when you're in the vicinity of the London metropolitan area. Of course, that's some of the highest praise available in the restaurant world. 

Like Charles III has said of his intentions as king, The Frog "keeps up with the times," according to the Michelin Guide. "It's fun, well-run, and offers carefully crafted, eye-catching dishes with a rather uplifting feel." Again, one can see how the King might see himself as aligned with Handling's ethos. That being said, Buckingham Palace did not reveal the manner in which it selected Handling for the honor of creating Charles and Camilla's spicy and sweet Coronation trifle. 

However, it would appear that there was no contest like there was for, say Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee pudding. In that case, it couldn't have hurt that the dessert's creator, Gemma Melvin, flavored their creation with lemon and Amaretti — in fond recollection of the queen's 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. Here, however, it is unclear whether and to what extent Charles and Camilla had a say in who created their official Coronation dessert recipe, or, for that matter, the sweet and spicy recipe, itself. One can only wonder at Prince Harry's reaction to ginger's prominent role.