It’s finally time for the final recipe from my honeymoon tour of Europe! We’ve made tapas from Spain, macarons from France, pastéis de nata from Portugal, and döner from Germany. Finally, it’s time for the United Kingdom to shine, with Jaffa cakes!
Like I mentioned in my post about our trip to London, my favorite memory of the trip revolves around loading a cart with sweets and eating them together in the apartment while we watched the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. So I figured, why not try to recreate my favorite snack? I decided to go for my ultimate British snack, Jaffa cakes. A small cake topped with a disc of orange jelly and coated in chocolate, it’s one of my favorite things to pick up on a World Market run.
This was my first time trying to recreate a commercial product at home, just like my hero Claire from Bon Appètit. The recipe itself required a few things I’d never done before, namely making jelly and a fatless sponge. While my döner recipe was all about making things easy and accessible for those at home, this one will be a bit of a challenge. But trust me, mastering new techniques is so satisfying! When I finished my first trial, they weren’t perfect, but I was so proud of myself for attempting and finishing something new.
Since I was trying so many new things, I decided to stick almost exactly to the recipe I found so I didn’t fudge it all up. One thing I did add was some orange extract, to try and amp up the orange flavor of the jelly. And while I used dark chocolate because I prefer the way it pairs with orange flavors, the coating ended up being brittle when it cooled. Milk chocolate, with its higher fat content, would probably provide a slightly softer bite and would be an excellent substitute if you don’t like the sharper taste of dark chocolate.
I couldn’t have done this without Marsha’s Baking Addiction and her excellent recipe. Like I said, I only changed or would change a few small things, but the way she walked through all the steps was excellent and helped me make my way through new techniques like jelly making. I’m so grateful for thoughtful recipe writers that make exploring in the kitchen a breeze!
If you’re feeling like trying something new, I hope you give this a shot! Jaffa cakes really are one of my favorite snacks, and these homemade ones look like so much effort without truly being all that hard. I hope you enjoyed cooking through my honeymoon with me, now that I have FINALLY finished. I can’t wait to officially return to each of these countries as part of my #GentGoesGlobal series. For now, though, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living!
For the jelly
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 sachet gelatine
For the cake
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the chocolate topping
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Make the jelly
- On the stovetop in a medium saucepan, combine the orange juice and the sugar on a medium-low heat, and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add the extract and stir well to disperse. Take the saucepan off the heat and evenly sprinkle the packet of gelatine over the surface of the liquid. Stir until there are no lumps and the gelatine is completely dissolved.
- Pour about a tablespoon of the orange jelly mixture into each cup of a 12-hole muffin pan. If your pan is nonstick, there's no need to prepare it; if your pan isn't nonstick, you may need to line the cups with parchment paper. Leave in the fridge to set for about 2 hours. When they are chilled, remove the discs from the pan so you can use the muffin pan for the cakes.
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the muffin pan by spraying each cup with nonstick cooking spray, then set aside.
- Place enough water in a pot that is wide enough to fit a mixing bowl without having the bowl touch the surface of the water. Simmer the water to create an indirect heat source on the bottom of the bowl. Whisk together the eggs and sugar on the medium setting of a hand mixer until pale and frothy, about 5 minutes. You want to create lots of air bubbles in the batter, since these cakes contain no leavening agent.
- When the mixture is frothy, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Lightly fold in the flour, being careful not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Make sure there are no dry pockets of flour!
- Pour one tablespoon of batter in each cup of the muffin pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 or 9 minutes. The cakes should be light in color, so don't think they are underdone if they are a little light. Let cool for a few minutes, then use a knife to gently remove the cakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- When the cakes are cool, trim a little off of the edge of each jelly disc (you want the jelly to be a little smaller than the cake). Place a jelly disc on each cake. Melt your chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave, doing so in small spurts of time to prevent burning. When your chocolate is silky smooth and flows easily, pour it over each cake. Use a spoon to gently coax the chocolate to the edges of the cake, completely encasing the jelly. Before the chocolate dries, press a fork gently into the chocolate and lift to create a pattern that's traditionally found on packaged Jaffa cakes. Let the chocolate dry, then enjoy with a mug of tea!
- As mentioned before, this recipe was entirely inspired by Marsha's Baking Addiction and I just made a few very small tweaks.
- Be sure not to overbake the cakes, as they will be rubbery and not fun to eat.