Even though I claimed in my last post for lemon and aronia berry iced biscuits that I was not going to follow the bake off this post also took ideas from the technical challenge of cake week, jaffa cakes. Chocolate orange has to be one of my favourite flavour combinations and, unsurprisingly, jaffa cakes are definitely one of my first choices when tucking up with a cup of tea in front of Pointless (Yes, I mainly watch pointless as an excuse for tea and biscuits; no, I am not secretly in my 50’s).Therefore, when I made my own a few years ago I hate to admit they weren’t as good as the shop bought ones, purely because I think they are pretty hard to beat! Therefore, I thought putting a spin on them would, in theory, be a really good way of fixing something that isn’t broken.
I thought the element of jaffa cakes that was most open for interpretation was definitely the jelly as this is where most of the flavour is carried. Fortunately, jelly is also pretty easy to experiment with in terms of flavour if you get your quantities right. I have to admit that I don’t usually make jelly from scratch; I only really use gelatine to set cheesecakes, make marshmallows etc. Therefore, getting it to set was a bit of a worry for me, especially when converting between sheets and powder. However, if you are careful with your quantities, everything should be fine! Following the recipe from a blog called cat food is good for you, I therefore decided to flavour my jelly with a tea called ‘cloud catcher’ by Easy Teasy, which again is sold at Brown’s. Having tried it in the coffee shop, I already knew it had the most beautifully aromatic flavour,being quite intense but not overpowering. Normally, I am not a fan of fruity infusions as I find them a bit underwhelming, but this is definitely an exception for me as the combination of apple, cherry, coconut and kiwi is really lovely.
Since jaffa cakes use a fatless sponge, I decided to keep the cake base as simple as possible, purely because I felt altering the texture would be fatal. I was very wary of making the mixture too runny, but I also thought adding any chunks to the mixture would result in it sinking quite a lot. Also, it just seemed to me like it was deferring a bit too much from a traditional jaffa cake, so I felt keeping it simple would be best. I felt the same with the chocolate finish and simply melted some white chocolate and sprinkled some desiccated coconut on top for a nice little finish. One the whole, the results were mixed. The jelly set really well, but the flavour didn’t carry brilliantly. This is probably because I didn’t use enough, but I think it is also to with the fact that a lot of the taste is actually carried from the smell of the tea, a factor which is drastically reduced when it is cooled. You could still taste it very mildly, but not enough to carry through the chocolate and even the coconut, which was a shame. It still gave the cake a lovely sweetness, almost intensifying the flavour of the white chocolate and giving it a lovely moisture when you bit into it. I also think I could have made the jelly layer a bit thicker in hindsight, mainly to get a more traditional jaffa cake shape, but this wasn’t necessary in terms of taste and texture in my opinion. But they still went down well! Although they weren’t quite as I hoped, they were still really enjoyable and were a nice light treat with a cup of tea (or after a night out as my dad and I both discovered after a phoebe buffay-esque excuse involving a pigeon). Either way, I hope you enjoy, perhaps even with a cup of cloud catcher tea!
Cloud Catcher Cakes (makes approx. 12 cakes)
For the jelly:
- 1 tbsp powdered gelatin
- 4 tsp cloud catcher
- 60ml boiling water
- 235ml boiling water
For the cakes:
- 2 large eggs
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 200g white chocolate
- Desiccated coconut, for decoration
- To make the jelly, stew the tea with the 235ml of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the gelatine with the 60 ml of boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Mix the two together, pour onto a baking tray to form a thin layer and leave to set in the fridge, which should take approximately an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ 350F.
- For the cakes, whisk the eggs and the sugar with an electric hand mixer over a bain marie until the mixture is pale and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. Sieve in the flour and gently fold together, being careful not to beat out too much of the air. Portion the mix into a greased muffin tin so each space is about half full. Bake for 10 minutes until golden, leave to cool slightly and remove with a palette knife onto a wire rack, where they should be left to cool completely.
- Once your cakes are cooled and your jelly is set, you can start to assemble. Melt the chocolate completely and leave to cool slightly. In the meantime, find a circular cutter slightly smaller than the tops of your cakes and cut out a round of jelly for each one, placing it on top. When the chocolate is a bit cooler, carefully pipe the chocolate onto the top of each cake, trying to avoid drips down the side. Create a smoother finish with a palette knife and sprinkle with desiccated coconut while the chocolate is still melted. Leave the chocolate to set before tucking in!