Jemma Melvin’s family had support from Macmillan nurses who went “above and beyond” when her beloved grandad passed away from cancer in 2016.
Southport celebrity baker Jemma Melvin – the star baker behind the official pudding for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee TV competition – has teamed up with cancer charity Macmillan to create a special dessert for its popular fundraising phenomenon Coffee Morning 2022.
And she’s doing it in memory of her beloved grandad Jimmy, who died from liver cancer aged 83 in 2016.
In May this year, Jemma, 31, a copywriter from Southport, saw her Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti trifle crowned as the official Platinum Pudding after impressing judges including Dame Mary Berry.
Jemma was awarded the victory by HRH Camilla, The Queen Consort. The dessert was made by people up and down the country for this year’s jubilee celebrations while her winning entry continues to be sold in the world-renowned Fortnum & Mason.
For Macmillan Coffee Morning 2022, which takes place on Friday, 30 September, Jemma – a keen amateur baker who was taught by her grandmother – has created a special Macmillan Kiwi and Lime Trifle in honour of the charity’s iconic green branding.
Jemma wanted to get involved after witnessing first-hand the help her grandad and wider family received from Macmillan nurses.
She said: “My grandad was ace. Me and my brother Jamie used to spend a lot of time with him.
“He had his own boat, he went fishing, he had a pigeon loft in the garden – he was a proper grandad.
“I can remember running around the garden with him and he was such a fast runner – even at 70-odd-years old he’d beat us all in a race. He was just a cool grandad. He cared about us so much and always used to call me his little dolly bird.”
Jimmy was diagnosed with liver cancer in early 2016. Before he passed away in September of that year, Jimmy, Jemma and their family and friends received support from Macmillan nurses.
“My gran was doing everything she could for my grandad, but it got to the point where she couldn’t do everything. It’s so emotional and tiring but we all wanted to do the best we possibly could for him – but there’s only so much family can do.
“Macmillan nurses helped to take a load off my gran, especially. It’s a weird time when someone’s dying, I remember the house being full a lot of the time because everyone wanted to be around and help. But the nurses were really friendly with all the family – they were great with my grandad, but they were with us, too.
“They took time to talk us through everything. I was in my early 20s and I didn’t know loads about cancer. But they didn’t treat me like a child, they let me in and explained what was happening which helped me understand.
“They went above and beyond.”
Jemma was determined to give something back to Macmillan so that families across the UK can benefit from the same help her family received.
“Making the trifle and getting involved in Coffee Morning is a very small way of giving back to a charity and service that we benefited from as a family. But also, on a wider scale, people around our country benefit from Macmillan every day, so it’s an honour to do this.”
Nicole McIlveen, Senior Fundraising Manager at Macmillan, said: “We’re so grateful to Jemma for using her amazing baking skills to produce a special Macmillan-themed trifle for Coffee Morning this year.
“Jemma’s story is one shared by many families up and down the country. The help her grandad and family received from Macmillan nurses is exactly why we need to continue to raise money so that help is available for anyone who needs it.
“Coffee Morning is our biggest event and we hope that people hosting, however and wherever they’re doing it, can recreate Jemma’s trifle to help raise as much money as possible.”
Easy to make at home and adaptable for vegans and vegetarians, the recipe for the Macmillan Kiwi and Lime Trifle is below:
Macmillan Kiwi and Lime Trifle Recipe
Ingredients: (Makes one large trifle or several small trifles, depending on what dish/dishes you
choose to use)
For the bottom layer:
– Approx 200g of lady fingers/trifle sponges
– 2 x 135g packs of lime jelly
– Approx 6 ripe and ready kiwis
For the custard layer (which can also be replaced by shop bought…)
– 420ml double cream
– The zest and juice of one lime
– 25g caster sugar
– 1tbsp cornflour
– 4 egg yolks
– Optional green food colouring
For the topping:
– 600ml whipped cream
– Zest of one lime
– 200g white chocolate
– Optional green food colouring
- Line the bottom of your trifle dish (or any chosen dish) with trifle sponges.
- Make up the jelly, in a separate bowl or jug, following the packet’s instructions.
- Pour the jelly mixture over the sponges.
- Pop in the fridge to set whilst you make the custard (or skip step 5-11 if you’re using shop
- Place the cream in a pan over a gentle heat until simmering, stirring occasionally with a
- Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour mixture and the lime juice and zest.
- Then, whisking the egg mixture all the time with one hand, gradually pour the hot cream into
- Immediately return the whole lot back to the saucepan using a rubber spatula.
- Put back on the same gentle heat as you continue whisking until the custard is thick and
- Pour the custard into a jug or bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.
- While waiting for the custard to cool, slice five of the kiwis and pop the slices over the set jelly
neatly, in two layers.
- Once the custard is cool, pour or spoon over the set jelly and kiwi slices and pop into the
- Next, whip the cream until you see soft peaks.
- Spoon on top of the custard.
- For the optional chocolate shards, melt 200g of white chocolate, mix in a drop of green food
colouring and pour onto greaseproof paper on a tray.
- Grate over lime rind for extra zing and place in the fridge to set.
- To decorate your trifle, break the chocolate into shards and place into the cream, along with
the final sliced kiwi.
- Get ready to wow everyone at your Macmillan Coffee Morning!
Jemma’s expert tips:
– You can make this dessert in any dish you’d like, a trifle dish, a glass bowl or wine
glasses are just a few examples.
– Do not place your kiwi slices in the dish before pouring over the jelly mixture. Kiwi can
cause jelly not to set.
– Use green food colouring to make your elements really pop if you’re going for full on
– The green chocolate shards are a completely optional touch, grated white chocolate and
kiwi slices will be lovely enough for decoration.
To make the trifle vegan/vegetarian:
- Use jelly alternatives that are available or make fresh lime jelly using agar-agar.
- Replace the cream, custard and lady fingers with available alternatives, or if making from
scratch use egg substitutes.
- Use vegan white chocolate.
Macmillan Coffee Morning – the cancer charity’s flagship fundraising event – takes place on Friday 30 September 2022, but you can host or visit one whenever suits you best. To register to host or find a Coffee Morning near you, visit coffee.macmillan.org.uk