Jaffa Cakes are a much loved treat in households across the country, and have been for many years, but they have been the cause of controversy in the past, primarily because they are not in fact a biscuit as supermarkets would have us believe by their placement of them in the biscuit aisle, but are truly cakes.
In 1991, there was a hugely expensive court case where HM Customs & Excise challenged McVities and the classification of the humble Jaffa Cake, wanting them re-classified as a chocolate covered biscuit and subject to the standard rate of VAT, which is currently 17.5%. Standard biscuits and all cakes are not subject to VAT so McVities wanted to retain the status of the Jaffa Cake!
Fortunately, due to cakes going stale and biscuits going soft after a period of time, it was proved that Jaffa Cakes are indeed cakes, not biscuits. The case was bolstered by a suggestion to bake a giant version of a Jaffa Cake, to prove that like a cake (which it is) it can be cut into slices.
This recipe is for my version of the delicious treat that is the Jaffa Cake. I have baked using a 38cm x 25cm baking tray. If yours is smaller, this recipe can be easily scaled to suit the size tray you have.
- 5 Eggs
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 125g Self Raising Flour
- 1tsp Vanilla Extract
- For this I tend to use 250g of Tiptree Orange Jelly or Tiptree No Peel Marmalade. You could use an equivalent weight of your favourite Marmalade though, with the bits removed.
- 200g Milk Chocolate
- 75g Dark Chocolate
You can of course use the combination of chocolate that you like, but I find this variation to be really nice for this recipe, with the dark chocolate cutting through some of the sweetness.
Lightly grease your baking tray, line with baking parchment, and then grease the parchment. I found it easiest to use slightly melted butter, and a silicone pastry brush. Greasing the tray before lining it will stop the parchment from moving around when you tip in the sponge mixture.
Put the eggs into a bowl over a pan of water which has come to the simmer, but has been removed from the heat. Whisk for a couple of minutes using a handheld electric whisk.
You can do this by hand, but it is much easier and quicker to use a handheld electric whisk if you have one, and it doesn’t need to be an expensive gadget in your kitchen – mine cost less than £6 in Sainsburys. If you want to use a stand mixer for this, you can – your results will be just as good, even without whisking over warm water. I chose to use my hand mixer on the day I made these recently, and I find I get the best results over warm water with my handheld whisk.
Add the sugar and continue whisking for about another 10 minutes until the egg/sugar mixture has thickened to a softly whipped cream consistency, is pale in colour, and has at least doubled in volume.
Place the bowl on your work surface and continue whisking for another couple of minutes to allow the egg mixture to cool a bit.
Sift the flour into the egg mixture.
Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon (this helps to keep the lightness in the sponge), and then gently mix in the vanilla extract.
Gently pour the cake mixture into the prepared baking tray and spread it out evenly.
Bake in a 200 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes until the sponge has risen and is a golden brown. You may need to turn the baking tray gently after about 8 minutes to ensure even baking.
Warm the Orange Jelly (or Marmalade) a little and spread it over the sponge.
Gently melt the Chocolate (I did this using the Simmer setting on my microwave), and then stir to combine.
A perfect light snack!