I got it in my head to recreate the Jaffa Cake experience in actual cake form – a lovely light sponge, layered with the best Seville orange marmalade and smothered with a mirror-like chocolate glaze. I am glad to report that this really surpassed my expectations – a delicious cake that is very easy to whip up. I wanted the sponge cake to be really soft and springy so I went with the classic method of whisking whole eggs – six of them! – over heat to produce a batter that is light as air. No other raising agent is added here so you have to whip the eggs within an inch of their lives. I added a little melted butter to give the cakes some moisture, but you could leave the butter out if you prefer to create a fatless sponge. This type of cake really benefits from being brushed with a little simple syrup – don't skip that step!
I baked this in my smallest cake tins (15cm/6in) and produced 4 layers (only used three in the photos). You can use 20cm (8in) tins to produce 2 large layers instead. I would like to thank King's Fine Foods for supplying me with some amazing Amedei chocolate and wonderful citrus oils which I used in this recipe.
Makes 4x15cm (6in) layers - Serves 8
6 large eggs
175g | 6oz caster sugar
150g | 5oz plain (all purpose) flour
90g | 3oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp pure orange oil
zest of 1 orange
1 large jar orange marmalade (about 400g /14oz)
thinly sliced cumquats or candied peel to decorate (optional)
Simple orage syrup
100ml | 3.3dl oz freshly squeezed orange juice (or water)
100g | 3.5oz sugar
For the chocolate glaze
200g | 7oz chocolate, chopped into small pieces
I used a half milk and half dark chocolate
150ml | 5fl oz whole milk
3 tbsp golden syrup or honey
60g | 2oz unsalted butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line your cake tins. You can use four shallow tins or 2 deep ones. The taller cakes will require slightly longer baking time. Dust with flour and shake off any excess.
- Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and lightly whisk together. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand mixer until the mixture is lukewarm, 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and without removing the bowl, continue to whisk until the batter almost triples in volume. The batter should fall from the whisk in a thick ribbon.
- Sift the flour over the batter in two or three stages, adding alternately with the cooled melted butter. Remember to add the orange zest and oil.
- Use a large spatula to gently fold the ingredients together – starting from the centre of the bowl draw the spatula along the bottom of the bowl and bring up to skim the sides.
- Continue until the ingredients are all mixed in – take care that the butter is well blended in as it tends to sink to the bottom!
- Divide the batter between your tins and bake 15-20 minutes from a small shallow cake and 20-25 minutes for a cake baked in a deep tin that is to be sliced in half.
- The cakes will be done when the top is springy and the edges have began to shrink from the sides. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out from the tins. If you are slicing the taller cakes in half, wait until the have cooled down and slice with a serrated knife.
- Strain the orange juice to remove any pulp, then put with the sugar in a small pan. Simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is slightly reduced.
- Brush the syrup over the cake layers while it is still a little warm.
- Sandwich the cakes with a generous amount of orange marmalade.
- Prepare the chocolate glaze: put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the milk and golden syrup in a small pan until almost boiling.
- Pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Use a small balloon whisk to gently stir the chocolate, starting in the centre of the bowl and very gently and slowly increase the stirring motion until the chocolate has melted completely into a smooth glossy glaze.
- Stir in the butter until it has melted into the glaze and leave it to cool until it thickens slightly.
- Use a spoon to slowly pour the glaze until it starts to drip down the sides of the cake.
- Decorate with thinly sliced cumquats or candied peel if you like. The cake is best consumed soon after it is assembled.
Some random thoughts... If you are not a fan of orange marmalade, these cakes can easily be filled with the jam of your choice instead – raspberry and chocolate work really well together.
The recipe for the chocolate glaze makes more than you will need. You can add some to the layers to increase the chocolate factor or reserve to use for topping ice cream. The glaze will set as it cools so you will need to reheat it very gently.
Instead of orange or simple syrup you could use an orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier to brush over the cakes. Because the sponges don't contain a lot of fat they tend to dry out over time – best eat the cake while it is fresh! Not that I think you will have a lot of trouble with that.
Where do you stand on the Jaffa Cake divide? If you are a fan make sure to check these amazing chocolate & orange recipes...
Blood Orange Cheesecake from Vikalinka
Jaffa Cake Entremet from Patisserie Makes Perfect
Chocolate Jaffa cake from Scarlet Scorch Droppers
Chocolate and orange truffles with coconut from Tinned Tomatoes
Triple chocolate and orange cake from Tin and Thyme
Chocolate and orange Swiss roll from Casa Costello