Jaffa mash up

It was my hubby’s birthday this week and he gave me an unusual request for his birthday cake: a Jaffa Cake biscuit in a cake format with a chocolate hard shell. Mmmmm right.

The Jaffa Cake was first produced in 1927 by McVitie and Price and would be a close contender for the British national biscuit if such a thing existed. It is actually less like a biscuit and more like a cake.

To my surprise, the request was not that unique and I encountered many variations on this same quest. I decided to go hybrid – there was not one single option that ticked all the boxes and some just looked boring. So here follows the four recipes I used to achieve a very yummy ‘Jaffa Cake Cake’.

Orange Cake Base

This one from Chatelaine: http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/desserts/homemade-jaffa-cake-with-chocolate-and-orange/. I chose this recipe as I liked the vegetable oil and buttermilk combo, which would provide a lovely moist cake that would last longer. It really did not disappoint and the orange flavour certainly developed even further overnight. I used two smaller pans to get thinner layers as I did not want a big wad of cake inside the final product.

Orange Gel

This recipe I adapted from my favourite book The New Patissiers. In one recipe that I made for Christmas Day (which took 11 hours of actual cooking to make), there was a gel recipe using berries. I adapted it for orange and it worked perfectly. In a pan, bring to the boil: 170 grams orange juice, 50 grams caster sugar, 12.5 ml lemon juice (don’t leave this out) and 0.5 teaspoon agar agar. Refrigerate to cool and the blitz with a stick blender into a smooth gel. Once cakes are cold, smear a layer between them and sandwich gently. Given time, they will bond beautifully as the gel soaks into the cake.

Orange Chocolate Mousse

I really wanted to bring in a mousse layer to provide some texture relief from the cake layers. I used only the mousse part from this recipe as I did not want chocolate sponge as well: https://au.tv.yahoo.com/shows/my-kitchen-rules/recipes/r/15919860/chocolate-jaffa-mousse-cake/. This was a really easy recipe to make and come out smooth and luxurious. There are only two things I would watch out for here. The first is how much orange flavour you want. The amount called for in the recipe was far too little for me so I added extra essence half a teaspoon at a time until I got the right flavour. I had to add a lot, so follow the taste taste taste mantra with this one.

The second part is the trickiness of adding chocolate and cream together. Chocolate is super fragile to changes in temperature, so my chocolate started looking like it was clumping when I added it all to the orange essence mix. I tempered that mix with a little cream and then decided to add the choc-orange mix to the cream and keep whisking in the stand mixer with whisk attachment. I did not seem to lose too much air and it came out beautifully smooth. Place the mousse layer on top, wrap the cake in cling and put the whole thing into the freezer.

Hard Shell Chocolate Outer

For the outer shell, I wanted a clean, neat finish that would hold the cake together. For this I melted down 282 grams semi-dark chocolate along with 3 teaspoons of coconut oil (or any vegetable oil you would like), over a double burner or heat resistant bowl on a pan of hot water. It was my first attempt of using acetate, and then discovered I had none. I rummaged through my office and found some (very) old overhead projector sheets and improvised. I knew those would one-day come in handy!! 🙂

I measured and cut them into one long strip, held together with masking tape. I smeared the melted chocolate mix over the acetate sheet and smoothed  it off with a palette knife and then wrapped it tightly around the frozen cake. That gave the cake a little lip into which I could pour the rest of the chocolate mix to form the top lid.

After that assembly it all went into the fridge to set. I was absolutely delighted when I gently peeled off that overhead acetate and revealed this lovely finish. The cake tasted absolutely delicious with a great diversity of texture. Just remember to use a hot knife to cut through the chocolate. If you give it a try, please let me know in a comment below.



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