Jaffa Cakes

A tiny cake masquerading as a British biscuit. # 130: Jaffa Cakes

I have some thoughts about these strange little cakes. But first, let’s celebrate the start of summer! I’ve been traveling a lot this past month and a half, but July is for raiding farmers markets and making as many strawberry and stone fruit desserts as I can. Can’t wait for my first nectarine galette of the year!

Jaffa cakes are another one of those desserts that I only learned about thanks to GBBO. They seem to be a British childhood favorite – kind of the same level as pre-packaged twinkies and ho-hos. Keeping that in mind, I can’t be as harsh in my critique. The flavor was yummy (who doesn’t like dark chocolate and orange??) But they were just. so. dry.

The name comes from Jaffa oranges, which I’ve never heard of but the name is super cute! If we were to call these cookies (or biscuits, depending on you’re viewpoint of the Atlantic) then I wouldn’t be as troubled. I’m used to a dry cookie. Cake, on the other hand, needs to be moist and luscious. If I make these again, I’ll paint the genoise base with a loose orange marmalade and drizzle with chocolate so the cake stays yummy and rich.

Adhering to the actual recipe, the first step is to make orange jello. Essentially orange juice, sugar and gelatin! In hindsight: way less gelatin. It could hold it’s shape fine with 2/3 the amount the recipe called for and the texture would be less dense.

Not wanting to chisel orange jelly out of my muffin tin, I lined the cups with foil. If you have those foil cupcake liners, that would be even easier!

Cake time! These mini guys are genoise sponge cakes, so they use air bubbles to rise instead of a leavening agent.

Whipping it in a bain-marie gently cooks the eggs while also adding those happy bubbles to help it grow to new cake heights.

You know it’s close to ready when it gets thicker and turns a lovely pastel yellow color. Oeuf-la-la!

Hey, why do French people only eat one egg for breakfast?

Because one is en-oeuf!

Congrats you survived the pun! Now go sift your flour.

Just a little bebe cake! I might also add the tiniest bit more batter to each one next time.

By now, the orange jellies should be firm to the touch. Time to set them free!

They look like flat egg yolks. So much potential here for April Fools Day pranks.

Melt some dark chocolate and away we go!

Looks like a chocolate toupee.. I think these would also be lovely completely coated in chocolate!

Happy munching!

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