When my friend requested this creation for her birthday I was initially stumped. I contemplated a dark chocolate orange cake but that’s just cheating. She didn’t ask for a chocolate orange cake, it was specifically a ‘Jaffa Cake’. Challenge accepted. I very much doubted my creative baking abilities at one point but I was very pleased with the way it turned out in the end, as was she (and everyone else at dinner). Needless to say it was surprisingly successful!
For the sponge:
I altered the original recipe to make one and half times the amount, as I didn’t think the original would be enough to make three sandwiches.
- 6 eggs
- 375g butter
- 375g sugars
- 375g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 2-4 tbsp milk
This is Mary Berry’s recipe but my favourite way to do sponge is to weigh 4 eggs (6 in this case) and then add equal amounts butter sugar and flour. It never fails!
Weigh out the flour and sieve it into a bowl (do this first so you don’t forget later)
Beat the butter until very creamy and fluffy in texture.
Add the sugar and beat until very pale, and again fluffy, mine was pretty much white.
Add the eggs a tablespoon at a time.
When you get down to the last two spoonfuls of egg add a tablespoon of flour with each to prevent the mix curdling.
**The mix probably will curdle, it often happens to me, just truck on and perhaps add a little extra flour – the cake always turns out lovely anyway**
I know you’ve sieved it once already but sieveing the flour again, holding it high over the bowl will keep your sponge light and airy.
Fold in the sieved flour and a pinch of salt.
Add milk as necessary until the mixture drops heavily off a spoon, it’ll be quite thick.
Spoon into three tins (or 2/3 into one tin and 1/3 into another, bearing in mind the smaller one will need to come out earlier)
Bake at 180C for 30-40 mins (until golden brown and springy to touch)
Once cooked leave to cool completely. You can prepare the sponges the day before and wrap them up to finish later, I’d recommend this because they won’t be as fragile.
For your curd I would recommend using really tangy oranges. Too sweet and the curd will just be sickly, I’d also add the juice of a lemon to be safe. You want the zingy curd to contrast nicely against the bitter dark chocolate:
- 5 egg yolks
- 225g butter
- 300g sugar
- 3 oranges zest & juice
- Juice of one lemon
Heat the orange juice, zest and sugar over a pan of barely simmering water stirring continually with for about 10 minutes.
Add the butter and whisk until it melts, let it sit for ten minutes, stirring regularly until it thickens.
If it seems to take too long just be patient. If your patience really is waning and your arm is starting to ache, add a little cornflour and persist!
I made two lots of curd, experimenting with two different recipes. This first one was quite buttery so if you’d like something lighter this recipe by Nigel Slater is one I really like.
- 3 eggs + 1 yolk
- Zest and juice of 4 oranges
- Juice of one lemon
- 200g sugar
- 100g butter
As before, heat the orange juice, zest and sugar over a pan of barely simmering water stirring continually with a whisk for about 10 minutes.
Add the butter and whisk until it melts, let it sit for ten minutes, whisking regularly until it thickens.
It should feel the consistency of custard, heavy on the whisk.
Using a whisk rather than a wooden spoon helps maintain the light texture of this curd.
Orange mascarpone cream:
This was slightly experimental, feel free to play around with it yourselves.
- 125g mascarpone
- 25g butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 2 – 4 tbsp orange curd
- juice of 1 orange
As easy as 1,2,3:
Cream the butter
Add the mascarpone and icing sugar a bit at a time.
Add the juice and curd to taste.
- 250g dark chocolate
- 284ml carton double cream
- 1tbsp black treacle
- 2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
I added the treacle to give the ganache a little depth. It worked quite well if I do say so myself!
Chop the chocolate and add the treacle to a large bowl
Heat the cream and sugar to boiling point.
Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and glossy.
Allow to cool otherwise it will be too runny to pour over the cake.
Once it has cooled slightly pour it onto the cake and allow it to drip slightly, then cover up the sides and let it thicken. Touch up as necessary.
I used a pack of Hartley’s orange jelly, follow the instructions on the back but use slightly less water, about 200ml less so that it sets quite thick with a strong orange flavour. Allow it to set in a shallow dish because you just want a thin disc of it for ‘jaffa cake’ authenticity.
Assembling the cake:
So, you’ve made all your bits and bobs and here’s the fun bit. Getting it all together.
Start with the sponges.
Spread the bottom of one with the mascarpone cream and place the other on top.
Spread a third of the orange curd over the second sponge.
Cut a circle in the middle of the third sponge and place it on top.
Fill the cut out circle with the rest of the orange curd.
Place a disc (or bits of jelly enough to cover the curd and fill the cut out) of jelly on top of the curd. The jelly disc also stops the chocolate ganache from sticking to the curd and making a mess, clever.
Once your ganache has cooled slightly pour it over the cake.
Let it thicken again before adding slightly more to the top and neatening up the sides.
To decorate grate some candied orange peel over the top and admire your handiwork.
I was amazed that this actually worked, and it did, there were a lot of ‘I can’t believe this actually tastes like a jaffa cake!’ comments so I was quite pleased all the hard work paid off!