24 September 2016

GBBO Jaffa Cakes

I'm aware of Jaffa cakes and what they mean to a lot of people in the UK. I've eaten them and failed to understand this meaning. But watching this year's version of the Great British Bake-Off, I started looking at them in a somewhat different light - the home-made ones look so much nicer and inviting, so I decided to move them high up on my to-bake list.


I watched the GBBO episode carefully and noticed that the recipe seemed quite wasteful with regards to the jelly, something I think is a bit out of character for Mary Berry. I also thought the amounts for the sponge were so tiny, I'd struggle to actually make it, so I doubled the sponge, but kept the jelly as per the recipe.

Not everything worked out as seen on TV, so I've tried to adjust for this in the recipe below:


Makes around 24

2 x 135 packets orange jelly
150 ml boiling water
juice and zest from half an orange

unsalted butter for greasing
2 large egg
50 g caster sugar
50 g self-raising flour

200 g dark chocolate


  1. Starting with the jelly, break up the jelly. Bring the water to the boil and remove from the heat, then add the jelly and stir until it's completely dissolved. Stir in the orange juice and zest.
  2. Line a shallow 30 x 20 cm tin with aluminium foil, taking care to keep it as flat as possible. Pour in the jelly liquid, it should form a layer of about ½ cm. Place the tin in the fridge until it has set.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C fan and grease very generously a 12-hole mini tartlet/mince pie tin. Very generously!
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk for 4 - 5 minutes until it's really light and fluffy, almost on its way to a meringue.
  5. Sift in the flour and fold it in gently, then pour about 10 ml (2 tsp) into each hole. Smooth the tops, then bake for 7 - 9 minutes, until they have risen nicely and are pale golden brown.
  6. When the cakes are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes. Then carefully remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Wipe the tin clean and grease well once more for the remaining batter, then repeat the procedure.
  8. When the cakes have cooled down, break up the chocolate and melt over a water bath. Place a piece of baking paper under the wire rack with the cakes.
  9. Take the orange jelly out of the fridge. Take a round cookie cutter with diameter about 1 cm smaller than the cakes and cut out circles from the jelly.
  10. Place a jelly circle in the middle of each cake, then carefully spoon some chocolate over, up to the edges of the cakes. Use a knife to spread the chocolate, so the layer stays as thin as possible.
  11. Place the cakes in the fridge so the chocolate sets. Once it's set transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

Well, this was a very pleasant surprise, these home-made jaffa cakes were scrumptious. Unfortunately I over-filled the first bake a bit, so they were a bit too big to eat, I thought. The second bake was a better size. I thought I'd been generous with greasing the tin, but there were still a few bits that stuck. Again, I did better in the second round, by greasing the tin almost to the point where I couldn't see the colour of the tin.

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Also another "unfortunately" - the jelly didn't set throughout the pan, so only about half of it could be cut into neat circles with the cookie cutter. The other half, I had to sort of scrape off and spoon onto some of the cakes. In hindsight, I should have tried to level it out - there's so much the chocolate can hide. So in the above list of ingredients, I've doubled the jelly packets.

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A third "unfortunately" was that I spooned the chocolate too thickly at the start. But I rescued the situation in that I completed two of the cakes only and served one to Lundulph. He's the one that established that the chocolate was too thick. Thus, all the other cakes were done with a thin layer of chocolate. I think also it's probably worth tempering the chocolate, even if Mary Berry doesn't specify this. And when I finally suss how to temper chocolate, I'll give it a try. As it was, some of the jaffa cakes stayed in the fridge all night and there were still spots of melted chocolate, i. e. not set, the next day. Bah!

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Finally, Mary Berry says to cross over the chocolate with the back of a fork. I tried this on a few of the jaffa cakes lucky enough to get a jelly circle. It didn't look pretty at all, so I recommend skipping this bit.

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