My good friend—and cupcake maker extraordinare—Stefani (she of Cupcake Project fame) recently told me she was participating in Taste & Create, a monthly “food event by Nicole from For the Love of Food. It’s whole purpose was, and has been, to create a community of bloggers who test each others’ recipes and share links. It has also been to help new and not so well known bloggers get their foot in the door of the foodie community.”
Sounds like a good thing, right? I thought so too so I signed up as well! Everyone participating in Taste & Create is assigned a partner, from whose blog you choose a recipe to create and then, well, taste. My Taste & Create partner was Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Jacqueline is from Scotland and has a great blog devoted to vegetarian food.
I browsed through Jacqueline’s list of recipes and found a number I wanted to try. However, this month is Taste & Create’s 3-year anniversary (congrats, Nicole!) so instead of choosing any recipe to make, all Taste & Create participants were asked to pick a dessert to make.
Jacqueline has a ton of great dessert recipes so choosing one wasn’t easy. I eventually settled on her Jaffa Drizzle Sponge Cake recipe because I adore the combination of chocolate and orange (but who doesn’t, right? Right?).
I also found this recipe interesting because it’s based on a biscuit-like cake, traditional in the United Kingdom and Ireland and made my a company called McVities … and according to Jacqueline, they are very, very addictive!
I started out by sourcing some actual jaffa cakes from our local international grocery store, Jay’s International, located on South Grand. If you haven’t been to Jay’s, you should give it a try for your ethic cooking needs … or just to peruse the often bizarre food packages from around the world! Jay’s didn’t have the McVities brand of jaffa cakes, but I did find some:
I sampled one of the packaged jaffa cakes, and while it wasn’t bad, I would have to file it under “foods you love because you’ve grown up eating them.” I actually liked the chocolate and orange jelly atop the cake, but the cake part left a lot to be desired. However, this did not deter me from my homemade jaffa cake making because I think we all agree, homemade is always better than packaged and processed!
So, without further ado, here is Jacqueline’s “Jaffa Drizzle Sponge Cake” recipe. Please note that many of the ingredients are listed in grams. I used my digital food scale to weigh these out in grams so I knew I had the exact amount, but I have listed ounces for you as well in case you don’t have a digital food scale. Also, a note about the sugar … caster sugar is just superfine sugar … and golden caster sugar is to standard caster sugar what turbinado (ie, raw) sugar is to standard white sugar. I couldn’t find raw superfine sugar so I just used white superfine sugar, which you should be able to find next to the “regular” sugars in your baking aisle.
Jaffa Drizzle Sponge Cake
140g butter, softened (5 ounces)
200g self-raising (ie, rising) flour (7 ounces)
200g golden caster sugar (7 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons milk
Finely grated zest from 1 large orange
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from said orange
50g golden caster sugar (2 ounces)
The rest of the freshly squeezed orange juice from the aforementioned orange
50g dark chocolate (2 ounces)
1. Heat oven to 350°. Butter and line the base of a loaf pan. Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand whisk or wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Spoon the mix into the pan and level the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
2. Meanwhile, heat the orange juice and sugar gently in a small pan, stirring until dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and spoon the syrup over the cake. Leave to cool in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Break up the chocolate and melt over a pan of simmering water (or on 50% power in the microwave). Drizzle over the cake and leave to set.
We had some gianduja chocolate, a sweet chocolate containing about 30% hazelnut paste, at home and I thought the hazelnut would go well with the chocolate and orange. I’m happy to say it did, thought the chocolate didn’t really set well so I would suggest sticking with regular dark chocolate.
Other than that, this was a relatively easy, refreshing cake to make, and I’m glad to have it in my dessert repertoire. Oh, and Jacqueline? My drizzling skills leave a lot to be desired as well!