Elizabeth, the Jumbal Queen

The Great Elizabeth, the last Tudor, had a major sweet tooth. To be fair, she was not the only one. Food has always served to demonstrate and affirm status, and the royals of all times have asserted wealth and power by consuming the most luxurious and exotic comestibles of their epoch. Luckily for Elizabeth the Great, her reign coincided with exploration of the New World. While Sir Walter Raleigh, an avid smoker, did not actually bring tobacco to England (contrary to common belief), he did bring something much better, in his sovereign’s opinion – cane sugar.

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Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, the virgin queen’s only suitor for many years and the hero of the somewhat scandalous relationship with Elizabeth, knew her taste for sweets. He also knew how to give a party in grand style, as befitting a queen. It seems that the three-week long party in Elizabeth’s honor he threw in his Kenilworth Castle became the most important social event of her era, almost overshadowing her coronation. She was happy, though, because the culmination of the bash was an “ambrosial” 300-dish dessert banquet.

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This fantastic endeavor was recreated at the restored Kenilworth Castle’s Elizabethan Garden. Due to extensive evidence, including the original menu, immense sugar sculptures and sugary treats were accurately reproduced by renown Bombas & Parr culinary art duo. Yes, Beautiful People, those giant sculptures are made of sugar paste! Add to that the habit of polishing teeth by rubbing sugar into them, and what you get is a dentist’s nightmare!

Notice that in many portraits of the Great Queen, from her youth to the latest years, you never see an open-toothed smile. No doubt, sugar is the culprit! While in her 60’s, a French Ambassador remarked that her teeth were “very yellow and unequal,” and a visiting German dignitary, while describing the queen’s “pleasant appearance,” also noticed that her teeth were black, “a fault the English seem to suffer from because of their great use of sugar” (University of Reading course materials). Toothache was only the nobility’s malady, though; sugar being excessively expensive and thus not accessible to the rest of British population, simple people stuck to old-fashioned honey and fruit.

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In recreating one of the queen’s favorite sugared treats, known as Jumbals, or Jambles (spelling was quite whimsical in those times; Sir Walter Raleigh’s name is spelled several different ways in official documents), I am using the original recipe, provided by the University of Reading, with some modifications. Instead of this:

Take twenty eggs and put them in a pot, both the yolks and the
white: beat them well. Then take a pound of beaten sugar and
put to them, and stir them well together. Then put to it a quarter
of a peck of flour and make a hard paste thereof; and then with
aniseed mould it well and make it in little rolls, being long. Tie them
in knots, and wet the ends with rosewater. Then put them in a pan
of seething water, but even in one waum. Then take them out with
a skimmer and lay them in a cloth to dry. This being done, lay them
in a tart pan, the bottom being oiled. Then put them in a temperate
oven for one howre, turning them often in the oven (Thomas Dawson, Good Housewife’s Jewel, 1596)

…I use aquafaba (liquid left after cooking chick peas), brown sugar – much healthier than white refined one! – spelt flour, and sesame seeds. Because “I am what I am,” I can’t help but add chocolate. Mix it all together to get stiff, but pliable dough.

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Make one long log and cut it into about one inch pieces. Start rolling each piece into long cords, and by all means, get kids involved. If you don’t have any of your own, you may borrow some from neighbors – they’ll love you to bits!

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Once you have a long cord, fold it in half and twist. Trust me, this is better than play dough! Meanwhile, start a pot of water boiling.

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You can form any kinds of knots, but the original method was to connect the ends of a twist into a circle.  Drop these circles into boiling water one by one, making sure they don’t collide. It only takes a couple of minutes for them to rise to to the top, at which point you fish them out and place them on a paper towel to blot excess water.

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You still have to bake them, though, and you do that by arranging them on a barely misted with oil baking sheet. “Temperate oven for one howre” means fairly low temperature for about an hour, turning them often, until golden spots appear.

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I dusted mine with zylitol, but feel free to dust them with real sugar, if Queen Elizabeth’s and her court’s dental issues have not scared you. I have made sure these simple, yet delicious little cuties are not endangering your teeth!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup spelt or gluten free flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or caraway seeds, or aniseed

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 200 F. Mist baking sheet with oil. Boil pot of water.
  • Whisk aquafaba well, gradually add the rest of ingredients, mix thoroughly. If using gluten free flour, add more flour, if needed. Turn dough onto floured working surface.
  • Roll dough into 2-inch thick log. Cut into 1 inch pieces, Roll each into a thin cord, fold cord in half, and twist. Connect ends of each twist into circles and seal them.
  • Drop circles into boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes until they rise to the top. Remove onto paper towel, blot excess water, arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally, until golden spots appear. Cool on rack.
  • Dust with zylitol or powdered sugar before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

94 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks sweet & yummy!😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, dear; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    I voted for you for Best Food and have followed you since last year but must admit I don’t often visit as much as I should. Thank you for stopping by to let me know the contest was going on. Best wishes and hope also this starts your New Year off well!! 💞🎈🎉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, darling! I voted for you as well – congratulations and good luck!

      Like

  3. Lovely recipe and a nice piece of information from history

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anuradha!

      Like

      1. My pleasure, Dolly. I love your style of writing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh you are so sweet!

        Like

  4. Great post Dolly it looks very delicious 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Irene; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cookingflip says:

    Lol, thanks for the New Year laughs! Bless you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, darling! And many blessings to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. spearfruit says:

    Looks delicious Dolly, but not the best thing unfortunately for my waistline or my teeth.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But you are a gym monkey, Gary, just like I am, so you work it all out in no time!

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for posting. Have a great weekend. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Boiling and baking makes for such a nice crust. Love it when making bagels. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Ronit! Yes, I thought of these as Elizabethan bagels, but then got sidetracked by this 300-dessert affair.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. thejuicenut says:

    Great post! I loved the historical commentary. I knew of Elizabeth’s sweet tooth – she is famous for her black teeth – and loved your whimsical tone. I didn’t know about the 3 week sugarfest! Ugh, I could feel the enamel on my teeth disintegrating as I read 😄

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Chris! I know how you feel about this sugar orgy; I am a dentist’s daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thejuicenut says:

        Haha really? My grandfather was a schools’ dental officer for the county! Not that it did me much good 😕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What, it didn’t scare you the way it scared me?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. thejuicenut says:

        Until very recently I’ve never had a pleasant experience at the dentist, I’ve always had problems even as a child. I was unfortunate enough to have chicken pox when my second teeth were coming through and it affected the enamel on my teeth. So every visit has been a procedure, and I don react well to anaesthetic 😳

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh you poor suffering child! Those memories do stay with us for life, don’t they!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Srijana says:

    hungry again and just had my lunch

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL Should I be sorry or happy? Thank you for stopping by, dear Srijana!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Srijana says:

        Obviously happy

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, darling, I was just kidding!

        Like

  10. Hmm. Haven’t heard of some of these ingredients but looks good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Joanne! BTW, which suburb of Philadelphia? I lived in Northeast, Philly for 4 years, when I first came to US.

      Like

  11. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Dolly Aizenman, author of Kool Kosher Kitchen cookbook, with another of her brilliant posts.. not just a recipe for Jumbal… sinful… but also the history behind Queen Elizabeth’s rotten teeth…. #recommended

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Sally, for a reblog and a glowing recommendation! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for pingback, dear friend! 😻

      Like

  12. paulandruss says:

    Another brilliant mix of history and food, and after all doesn’t food define our history? You caught the Elizabethean period and their love for the white gold beautifully Dolly!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your pithy comment, Paul! So does food define history, or does history define food? Chicken or egg?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. paulandruss says:

    Dolly, Really??? You are asking a man… we don’t care whether we are eating the chicken or the egg! (Grin) Px

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jennie says:

    A great story and also a great recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Jennie; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jennie says:

        I do! You are so very welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Greedyeats -Neha says:

    Lovely write-up Dolly!! plus they look so yummy. I loved the way you’ve explained the procedure. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Neha; I am so glad you like them!

      Like

  16. renxkyoko says:

    The Queen and her sweetooth….. I can imagine her black , rotting teeth ( if the color is black, it’s rotten ), and the smell of her breath….but the pain of toothache, ugh, sweet Mary ! That ‘s quite unimaginable.

    The sweets though look yummy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, I didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of my British readers, but the truth is that she was very much suffering from toothache, but she was even more scared of dentists, and at some point she made her Bishop to have his HEALTHY tooth pulled, just to show her that it’s that bad. She still refused to do it and kept on suffering, poor lady!
      Jumbals are delicious, says my husband (who also has a major sweet tooth), and they are sooo easy to make!

      Like

  17. Hi Dolly. What a fun (and delicious) post! Wow… ” 300-dish dessert banquet”… that’s a monarch after my own heart (or tooth). Hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL Thank you so much for stopping by and for a lovely comment, dear Teagan!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my dear friend – you make me drool

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good – that’s the idea! Thank you so much, dear Esme!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 👩‍🍳👩‍🍳

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Balvinderb says:

    This recipe looks incredibly tasty and easy. I must try and let you know. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, dear Balvinder, and thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment!

      Like

  20. I appreciate the way you integrate history with recipe. Very interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Joseph; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. oldpoet56 says:

    As always, great story and interesting food, I am going to reblog this one for you Dolly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Ted!

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much for pingback.

      Like

  22. purpleslob says:

    Oh, my goodness!! 300 desserts? That sugar coma would have been worth it, me thinks!!
    I’m tagging this post in one of mine.
    ❤ Melinda

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This guy knew how to impress his lady love! Thank you so much, my favorite purple person!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Yes, he did!! I’d marry him! lol
        You’re welcome, my favorite feline friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She didn’t – marry him, that is. Queens – who can understand them?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        I know, but I didn’t want to say, I’d dally with him! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Nice Victorian term – dally!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Believe it or not, in our local newspaper, there was a statement “during a concert on the beach, about twenty couples f***** against the fence.” My husband was outraged – couldn’t they say “frolicking”?! I think young people nowadays don’t even know these “nice” terms.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. purpleslob says:

        WHAAAA??? In the paper?? I’d have been outraged too!! Both seeing it in person, and reading it in the paper!
        No, I don’t think they do. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Talking about England and the British Queens, I remembered this little cute recipe. Enjoy, Beautiful People!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. lghiggins says:

    Looking at the pictures I have to say that she had so many portraits made that she didn’t need a cell phone for selfies. Also, as she is said to love sugar so much, it is hard to believe that thin waistline. Perhaps a little artistic flattery?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL She actually was quite skinny, regardless of sugar. Genetics! It’s hard to believe, looking at the late portraits of her father, Henry VIII, but her grandfather, Henry with a preceding number, as well as his mother Duchess Margaret, were gaunt and angular, not to mention the fact that there was a scandal regarding that Henry’s (the first Tudor’s) paternity which involved Duke John of Gaunt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lghiggins says:

        Seriously, Duke of “Gaunt”? That could explain it.😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Honest truth! The 3rd son of King Edward the 3rd.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Laureen says:

    Thank you for following!

    I doubt I ever enjoyed a history lesson that much;)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Laureen!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. The recipe would have been nothing without the fabulous background you give to our. They look delicious but I think I should give them a miss! Was Elizabeth known for being overweight? I don’t think she was especially, was she?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve had this question asked, and no, she was rather skinny, to the point of gaunt.
      Most of my recipes are quite acceptable for most diets, sometimes with a little tweak, but if you are on a very specific one, then I wouldn’t know – sorry!

      Like

  27. Hail, Elizabeth! I now have an excuse for my own sweet tooth! :))))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We all do, dear Anna! You are in good company.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. colonialist says:

    Grinning blackly does NOT appeal to me! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL True that! That’s why she never smiles on her portraits.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. da-AL says:

    So interesting! Reminds me of a dentist I used to visit – his office was next to a chocolate store lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL What an auspicious location!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. da-AL says:

        And now with this mouthwatering recipe of yours with total eye-candy photos — there needs to be a note of caution for readers to brush their teeth after eating 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll consider them responsible adults, darling! 😻
        BTW, my father, may he rest in peace, was a dentist, which never stopped from upending an entire sugar bowl into his tea!

        Like

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