Image © nomadsoul1, under a Creative Commons license.
Jaffa Cake: Cake or biscuit?
It's such a hotly contested debate that the manufacturers even ended up in court, where it was ruled that, as its name suggests, it is officially a cake.
Yes, you might find it in the biscuit aisle, but let's not forget a considerable proportion of this sweet treat is made up of a Genoise sponge. Filled with a layer of tangy orange jelly and topped with dark chocolate there's not much better than this hybrid bake unless of course you try our recipe for a giant Jaffa Cake!
This is a cake that is most definitely big enough to share and will impress your guests when you bring out. It looks just like the real deal only in super-size. And once you've mastered this recipe, why not have a go at another family friendly: the Jammy Dodger?
For the cake: Two eggs, 75g of caster sugar, 75g of self raising flour
For the filling: 135g pack of orange jelly cubes, two tablespoons of shred-less orange marmalade
For the topping: 275g of dark chocolate
Equipment: wire rack, palette knife
Time: All good things come to those who wait, and this giant Jaffa recipe takes a while due to all the chilling. From start to finish can take 5-6 hours – but most of that is waiting for your jelly to set, so you're not tied to the kitchen.
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark four. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin and line a 15cm round cake tin with clingfilm.
2) Break up your orange jelly cubes into a heatproof jug and add the marmalade. Stir in 350ml of boiling water and keep stirring until it's fully dissolved. If you still have some lumps of the jelly try microwaving it in short 30 second bursts, stirring after each attempt.
3) Pour the orange jelly liquid into the smaller cake tin and set to one side to leave to cool. Let cool completely then move to the fridge and allow to set for around four hours.
4) Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until fluffy and pale in colour. Sieve in the self raising flour and fold through avoiding knocking out all of the air. Pour into the bigger tin and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. You can check it's done by inserting a skewer – if it comes out clean it's cooked through. When done it should also be firm but springy to the touch.
5) Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
6) Position your sponge layer of the giant Jaffa Cake onto a cake board or plate. Check your jelly is completely set before the next bit and don't attempt it until it has the perfect wobble. Use the cling film to help you remove the jelly from the tin and place it on top of the cake.
7) To top the cake you need to melt the chocolate. You can do this in the microwave by placing the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melting it in 20-second bursts. Stop just before the chocolate has completely melted, then gently stir, so the last bits of chocolate melt. This will stop the chocolate from burning.
8) Spoon or pour the chocolate over the top of the cake, using a palette knife to smooth it evenly across the top. Let excess chocolate drop down from the jelly layer and on to the sponge. Use the handle of a fork to draw a criss cross pattern in the chocolate then transfer the cake to the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
Tips And Recommendations:
If you don't have self raising flour then add one teaspoon of baking powder to plain flour instead.
Don't be tempted to construct the cake until the jelly has completely set otherwise it will collapse.
Look for a dark chocolate that is around 40% cocoa solids. Anything stronger will overwhelm the orange flavour rather than complement it.
Try this recipe for orange jelly for vegan Jaffa Cakes: Add 125ml orange juice, two tablespoons maple syrup, one tablespoon grated orange zest and one teaspoon of agar in a saucepan. Boil on a medium heat then allow to simmer for two minutes. Pour into a tin and leave to set in the fridge.
Good To Know:
The finished cake will serve up to 12 people.
Unlike make other cakes, this sweet treat won't hold up well in the freezer. Sadly the freezing process breaks down the gelatine which means once you defrost it will fall apart. The best thing to do is serve up seconds to ensure there's nothing left to freeze.
The cake will keep for a day or two in an air-tight container and is probably best kept in the fridge or somewhere cool.
Despite how impressive it looks this is an easy cake to make so definitely one the kids can help you with. It's also a good lesson in patience for them as this recipe is worked in stages, with lots of chilling time in between.
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).