How to make Jaffa Cakes Great British Bake Off style? First grow your oranges!
I’m not going to lie; I am already gripped by this year’s Great British Bake Off! The first technical challenge this year was to bake Jaffa Cakes (who else was shouting at their TV when Andrew was confused about how to make Jaffa Cakes and ended up presenting them the wrong way up??
It got me thinking: which orange variety should I grow if I want to make Jaffa Cakes from my own produce?
And even: is it possible in the UK to grow oranges that would be suitable for Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cake recipe?
The Jaffa Orange
The Jaffa Orange takes its name from the city of Jaffa, the city that it was first exported from. It remains one of the three most popular orange varieties that are grown in the Middle East.
So – probably not a variety that is possible to grow here in the UK. Does this mean that we will never have home-grown produce that is suitable for Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cake recipe? Don’t give up hope!
Which orange variety to grow?
Here in the UK, there are two main varieties that can be grown that should produce fruit that are perfect for Mary Berry’s Jaffa cake recipe!
All citrus fruits require a reasonable level of care the Tiger especially requires regular pinching out to help keep it in shape as it is quite a vigorous grower! When well looked after, the Tiger should produce a lot of fruit that are around 4cm wide. This particular cultivar is also quite visually interesting as the leaves are variegated.
Navel Orange ‘Washington’
In the world of oranges that are possible to grow in the UK, the Washington would be a very good choice (my choice!). The oranges are delicious, large, and seedless (how good does that combination sound?!)
Neither of these plants can really manage below 13 Celsius or in centrally-heated rooms, so can really only be grown if you have a greenhouse or conservatory and are prepared to take them in and out during the cold weather.
So you’ve spent the time and effort growing your own oranges. Now, how to make Jaffa cakes? Follow Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cake recipe! Here it is for you:
For the jelly
135g packet orange jelly
finely grated zest of 1 small orange
150ml boiling water
For the sponge
unsalted butter, for greasing
2 large eggs
50g caster sugar
50g self raising flour, sifted
For the topping
180g plain chocolate, 46% cocoa solids
1 – For the jelly, break the jelly into pieces and place in a small bowl. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the jelly is completely dissolved. Add the orange zest, then pour into a shallow 30cm x 20cm tray. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until set.
2 – Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan160C/Gas 4 and grease a 12 hole, shallow bun tin with butter. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 4 – 5 minutes until pale and fluffy, then gently fold in the flour.
3 – Fill each well in the bun tin three quarters full with the cake batter. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until well risen and the top of the sponges spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes then finish cooling on a wire rack.
4 – To assemble, break the chocolate into pieces then melt in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool & thicken slightly.
5 – Turn the jelly out onto a sheet of non stick baking parchment. Cut 12 discs from the orange jelly using a 5cm round cutter. Sit one jelly disc on top of each sponge.
6 – Spoon the melted chocolate over the jelly discs and leave to set slightly. Using a fork create a criss cross pattern on top of the chocolate, then leave to set completely.
Happy Jaffa Cake baking!