Week 1 – Cakes. Technical Challenge – Jaffa Cakes
First up, and immediately controversy set in – is a jaffa cake actually a biscuit? Paul Hollywood certainly upset a few people by dunking one in his tea.
Technically these Jaffa Cakes seemed to create a few areas of debate – Which way up should a jaffa cake be? How do you get the chocolate neatly to the edge without it running over? How do you make those classic criss-cross patterns on the chocolate?
I’ve deviated from the traditional orange for an alternative which works really well. Chilli & chocolate are just a classic combination, but there are a couple of other reasons for this version – I’ve a greenhouse full of chillies so they’re going into just about everything I cook at the moment, and Alex doesn’t like orange.
A delicate, melt in the mouth fatless sponge, a flavoured jelly, a little chocolate work. How hard can it be?
For the Jelly:
- 23gg Lime Jelly Crystals
- 135ml Boiling Water
- 1 Mild Red Chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
- 1 Lime – zest and juice, plus cold water to bring up to 130ml
For the Sponge Base:
- 2 Small/Medium Eggs
- 40g Castor Sugar
- 40g Plain Flour
For the Topping:
- Dark Chocolate (not too high in cocoa solids…)
- Melt the jelly with the boiling water and stir in the chilli, zest, juice and cold water
- Line a baking tray with clingfilm and pour in the jelly mix, leave to cool then transfer to the fridge to set
- In a clean food mixer bowl whisk the eggs and sugar hard until pale and frothy
- Sieve in the flour then fold in carefully with a metal spoon
- Grease a tart tin with a little butter and add about 1 rounded dessertspoon into each space
- Bake for about 8 minutes at 160oC Fan until golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack
- When the jelly has set (this may take a while if you don’t/can’t put the warm mixture into the fridge, remove from the tray and transfer to a board. Cut out rings smaller than the size of the sponge rounds (I used a wine glass)
- Place the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt, then transfer to a piping bag and allow to cool for a few minutes
- Return the cooled sponge bases to the tart tin (this will limit the amount of chocolate that can run down over the edge), and carefully place a circle of jelly in the centre of each
- Cut the tip off the piping bag and carefully edge each sponge with a narrow ring of chocolate
- Carefully pipe a thin layer of chocolate into the centre – the chocolate should be warm enough to run but not so warm as to melt the jelly
- Once roughly covered, leave for a couple of minutes then carefully rest a fork across the top – this will help to spread out the chocolate and create the pattern
- If necessary place in the fridge to chill, setting the chocolate and any warm jelly
Comments & Conclusions
- My original sponge mixture had 50g of sugar and flour – this was too much so I’ve cut this down to 40g and reduced the size of the eggs
- Although the mixture looked like it had risen far too much when it was taken from the oven, it settled down to just the right size once cooled
- The warm jelly mix will set very quickly if you’re fortunate enough to have an empty fridge to chill it in. Like most people, I don’t so I waited until it was cool before chilling. The mix set in about 15 minutes once in the fridge. Consider making the jelly in advance…
- Once set, the jelly likes to stay cool, but to spread neatly the chocolate needs to be warm. Finding the right balance is likely to be your biggest challenge! Hot chocolate + Cool jelly = melted jelly.
- In the end I used a Green & Blacks milk chocolate, which had a cocoa content of 38%. This was just about right, but a matter of personal taste
- Refrigerating everything at then end helped to ensure that it all sets, but does make the chocolate go a little dull