After taking a week off I have to admit that my lack of posting is very much met with a ‘sorry, not sorry’ attitude. I can, in some ways, try and redeem myself in the sense that I was at least baking myself in the Spanish sun (but my attempts to tan merely resulted in some fairy questionable burn lines), but I cannot make any claim of doing anything more than being thoroughly lazy. While I could go on to make many more smug comments about going to Fib Festival, I will move on before it turns into a 1000 word long ramble and turn to what we’re all here for, Jaffa Cheesecake.
Since coming back on Monday I have been struggling not to stuff my face in an attempt to try and curb the holiday blues. However, I was worried my blog would give me the perfect opportunity to carry this on so I sneakily decided to seize the opportunity of a girls night in to make a dessert; at least if I’m getting fatter, they all will be too *cue evil laugh*. Sorry girls! The decision to try a ‘Jaffa cheesecake’ as I have lovingly dubbed it came from the inevitable food envy after seeing the various videos floating about for Jaffa cake brownies. Since they look so delicious I decided to put my own spin on it, hence this particular recipe was born. I have already made one attempt to experiment with them through my cloud catcher cakes, but since the jelly was flavoured with a fruit infusion it did not translate very well in the final thing. Therefore I hoped I wold have a bit more success by staying a bit more true to the original.
I decided to try and adapt a classic cheesecake structure, replacing the biscuit base with a sponge base (a decision which raises the age old debate of whether a Jaffa cake is really a cake or a biscuit), topping it off with an orange jelly and, finally, a chocolate cream cheese filling. While, to me, this seemed like it would be a fairly simple process I still began with some apprehension as, often, I have found these presumptions to be a little bit off. I decided to adapt two recipes, one from work and one from the BBC for a giant Jaffa orange cake, and turns out my scepticism wasn’t entirely unfounded.
Although the sponge on a Jaffa cake is normally a fatless sponge, I decided to replace this layer with the heavier alternative purely because I was worried about it being too weak to support the other layers. However, I chose to take out the baking powder because I didn’t want it to rise, but as a result it did end up being quite heavy and flat. I was concerned this might have been a little bit of an error as it was probably needed to combat the heaviness of the yoghurt, but I ploughed on with the other layers and crossed my fingers that my friends would at least be polite if it wasn’t quite right!
While my friends were polite about it, I have to admit that, on the whole, the recipe does need a little bit of work. While the jelly and the cheesecake filling were nice and worked well as individual components, the base was way too dense, especially when you consider how light a jaffa cake normally is. As a whole it was also very sweet and, while this personally doesn’t bother me, I suppose I can understand why quite a few people didn’t finish their slices after a massive curry (even though it is essentially blasphemy in food form). I definitely think this recipe has a lot of potential and, after a few practices, could be really good. I have added the baking powder back into the recipe below in the hopes it will combat the flatness of the base, but if you are confident with a recipe of your own you can easily switch that in, or even be brave and go for the fatless sponge. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Jaffa Cheesecake (serves approx. 16)
For the base
- 125g butter
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 50g yoghurt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g plain flour
- Zest of 2 oranges
For the jelly
- 500ml orange juice
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 6 gelatine leaves
For the Cheesecake topping
- 375ml double cream
- 350g cream cheese
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 gelatine leaves
- 300g dark chocolate
- Jaffa Cakes (for decoration)
- Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160C Fan.
- For the cake base place all the ingredients in a mixer and cream until smooth and slightly paler in colour.
- Tip into a lined spring form cake tin and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Leave to cool completely, remove from the tin and set aside.
- To make the jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes.
- Put the orange juice and the sugar in a saucepan and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar. Squeeze the excess water out the gelatine leaves and add to the saucepan. Stir until this has also dissolved and remove from the heat.
- Take the same springform cake tin and line this with clingfilm. Pour in the jelly and leave to set, ideally overnight (you can reverse which order you do the cake and the jelly depending on how much time you have, this is just the strange order I chose!).
- To make the cheesecake filling, melt 250g of the chocolate over a bain marie and soak the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile, whip the cream in a stand mixer. Once whipped, add the cream cheese and the caster sugar and continue to whip until smooth.
- Squeeze the excess liquid out the gelatine and dissolve it in a little bit of boiling water before adding it to the cheesecake. Whip until fully combined.
- When the chocolate has melted, add this to the cheesecake mix as well, but try and reserve a little bit for drizzling over the top.
- To assemble, take the greaseproof of your cake and place it on top of the jelly. Release the whole thing carefully and flip so the cake is now on the bottom. Carefully peel off the base of the tin and the clingfilm, and then put this underneath the cake and fasten both of them back in together. You could use a little bit of melted chocolate at this point to cement the layers together a bit more firmly.
- Spread the cheesecake mix on top and decorate with the remaining melted chocolate, shavings from the 50g of chocolate left over and some Jaffa cakes. Leave to set in the fridge.