Three cheers for the return of GBBO!
This year’s opening episode saw the 12 new bakers face a signature bake of Drizzle Cake, a technical from Mary of Jaffa Cakes and a showstopper of a Mirror Glaze Cake. Judging by the results of the first week’s bakes it looks like we’re in for a battle royal for the covetted GBBO crown.
Mr E & I instantly decided to make a batch of jaffa cakes for our blogger bake-along. They’re one of our favourite cakes with their beautifully soft fat-free sponge base, jelly disc and topped with a coat of delicious chocolate. Plus it gave us the opportunity to play ‘full moon, half moon, total eclipse’, or was that just me?! 😉
Rather than making the traditional chocolate-orange combo for our jaffa cakes, we chose to ring the changes with a batch of lime jaffa cakes. This decision was in part due to having a bar of lime and sea salt chocolate in the cupboard, called Sea Dog, by Montezuma, which we’d picked up from our local sainsburys store recently. It’s a chocolate we’ve never used before, but it was absolutely delicious and one which I would certainly use again. The lime aroma happily greeted me when the packet was opened, and although the sea salt wasn’t detected I suspect it helped to subtely enhance the flavours of the chocolate and lime oil.
Now, of the three elements making up the humble jaff cake, it would probably be safe to suggest that making a light airy sponge or melting the chocolate sufficiently without it becoming too hot to result in a dull finish when set would be the problematic elements. Well, in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen it was the jelly which caused the issue! And my what a pantomine it turned out to be, with what seemed to be a whole tree of limes used in my attempt to achieve the correct set. What appeared to be an easy task on the face of it was soon looking like it was getting the better of me, and had the 5th attempt not worked I think I would have been reaching for the kleenex tissues!
As Mr E & I live in vegetarian household I clearly couldn’t use a regular jelly from the supermarket. Although there are a handful of vegetarian jellies available these days, I’ve yet to find a lime flavoured one – the flavour we chose for our GBBO inspired jaffa cakes. I often use Dr Oetker’s Vege Gel in my baking, and have successfully used it in our vegetarian pork pies, vegetarian game pie, and bilberry cheesecake, therefore I ‘assumed’ making a lime flavoured vegetarian jelly with it would be a walk in the park. How wrong was I. The first lime jelly I made only partially set, as did the second, third and fourth despite adjusting the ratios. Had I diluted the gel too much? Was the gel in date? After the third failed attempt I confided in google asking how to make a vegetarian jelly. An article by The Guardian explained that making a vegetarian jelly is very different to using a regular gelatine. It went onto say that making a jelly with very acidic fruits such as lemons and passion fruit (and no doubt limes too) is much less successful with a vegetarian setting agent. It suggested diluting the fruit further or adding more gelling agent. As one sachet of Dr Oekter’s vege gel sets 1 pt (565ml) of fluid, I reduced the liquid content further to 300ml and tried for a fourth attempt. Again the vegetarian lime jelly was still only partially set, and was clearly far from suitable to use in our homemade lime flavoured jaffa cakes. Argh!!!
The breakthrough moment came when some lemon and lime marmalade was added to the 5th batch of jelly! As luck would have it it worked! It actually worked! That perseverance (or was that stubborness – after all, I wasn’t about to let a jelly get the better of me!) finally paid off. Hurrah! I suspect the pectin included in the marmalade assisted in setting our lime jelly. Despite the hours involved in trying to achieve that sought after set, the final jelly was actually straightforward to make!
The remaining two elements were relatively straightforward to make. The chocolate was melted gently and slowly over a bain marie to prevent it from over heating and potentially becoming dull once set. The fat-free sponges were also prepared over a bain-marie, like some of the bakers did in the tent. However, I chose to fold the flour in by hand rather than with a spatula as I explored in one of my recent Side-by-Side Baking posts. Using the 5 ‘spatulas’ of my fingers really did speed up the process and potentially reduce the amount of volume lost during the process.
Thankfully, despite the jelly drama, the result was a dozen delicious, individual, vegetarian lime jaffa cakes. The lime flavour came through well and was offset by a lovely dark chocolate. The beautifully soft sponge, topped with a vegetarian lime jelly and complementary lime flavoured dark chocolate was a real treat and perfect for enjoying one or two (or perhaps three) with a cup of tea!
Let’s go and bake…..
Hands on time: 25 – 30 mins Cook time: 7 – 9 mins Yield: 12
12 hole patty tin
4cm round plain biscuit cutter
For the Jelly
- 1 tbsp Lemon & Lime Marmalade
- 1 Lime, Juice & Zest
- 1 Vegetarian Gel Sachet (we used Dr Oetkers)
- 250ml Cold WaterFor the Sponge
- 2 Eggs, Large
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 50g SR FlourFor the Chocolate Coating
- 100g Lime & Sea Salt Dark chocolate or plain dark chocolate
- 40g Milk Chocolate
a) The sponge mixture produced is too much for 12 jaff cakes, so if you have a second patty tin consider making a few extra with the remaining batter – baking both trays at the same time. You should have sufficient jelly for this, but will need to increase the quantity of chocolate a little. b) Consider colouring the jelly with a green liquid food colourant.