Fun jaffa cake fact #1: Jaffa cakes actually caused a large debate in UK tax law! In the early 90s a legal question arose as to whether jaffas should be taxed like a cake or a biscuit (cookie). Chocolate covered biscuits have a VAT, but chocolate covered cakes do not. Pre-packaged jaffa cakes are very thin and biscuit like - hence the tax case. During the case, the corporation that sells jaffa cakes baked a giant jaffa cake to prove that it wasn't a biscuit!
Fun jaffa cake fact #2: Jaffa cakes are actually named after a type of orange. Since the standard flavor base is orange flavored jelly, this probably isn't too surprising, but the more you know!
Jaffa cakes featured on series 7 (Netflix collection 4), episode 1: Cake Week! They were the technical challenge for the week.
I used Mary Berry's Jaffa Cake recipe with some uh...slight changes.
For the jelly:
1) For the jelly, break the jelly into pieces and place in a small bowl. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the jelly is completely dissolved. Add the orange zest, then pour into a shallow 30cm x 20cm tray. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until set.
2) Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F (355 if you want to be really on the money) and grease a 12-hole, shallow bun tin with butter. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 4–5 minutes until pale and fluffy, then gently fold in the flour.
3) Fill each well in the bun tin three quarters full with the cake batter. Bake for 7–9 minutes, until well risen and the tops of the sponges spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
4) To assemble, break the chocolate into pieces then melt in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool and thicken slightly.
5) Turn the jelly out onto a sheet of non-stick baking parchment. Cut 12 discs from the orange jelly using a 5cm round cutter. Sit one jelly disc on top of each sponge.
6) Spoon the melted chocolate over the jelly discs and leave to set slightly. Using a fork, create a criss-cross pattern on top of the chocolate, then leave to set completely.
So overall, jaffa cakes were really quite an easy bake. Genoise sponge can be a little bit of a pain in the ass, but honestly I think any light, airy cake would work just as well for these. I'd recommend it be not too sweet and make sure you do a very small cake.
A few things I would definitely do differently when making these in the future: thinner layers of jello. Mine weren't very thick, but they were still a bit too thick for these jaffa cakes - especially the strawberry. Part of the reason some of the jello layers look so messy is because I needed to go back and try and slice them into thinner layers. It went about as well as you can imagine with jello jigglers trying to make their escape off the countertop.
I didn't do the cross-hatch decoration on top of the chocolate because I am lazy, and because I frankly thought they looked fine as is.
Make sure that your chocolate has cooled a bit. It should still be spoonable/spreadable but not hot enough to start melting the jello. I bring this up because I had four ugly jaffa cakes. The chocolate was too hot. The jello started to liquidize. The chocolate would not stay on the jaffa cake.
As you can imagine, they were a delicious taste test sacrifice. ;)
I do recommend giving these homemade jaffa cakes a try. They seemed weird, but they honestly tasted really good! Customize it with your preferred flavor! It's your home bake. You don't have to make an orange one if you don't want to. My household preferred the strawberry to the orange - you may feel differently.
Next time on Bake the GBBO, I'm tackling upside down cake - and no, it's not pineapple!