One of our anonymous readers sent this in. It's a giant "Jaffa Cake". What is a Jaffa Cake you may ask? It's not really what I'd call a cake, it's the size of a regular biscuit. Read the Wikipedia definition here. It's basically a sponge biscuit, topped with an orange jam, then covered in a chocolate coating. Sarah thought she'd give a giant Jaffa Cake a go....
Jaffa Cakes are super. The dry and chewy sponge, the moist and tangy orangey bit, the tasty chocolate-effect coating, all coming together to make a unique biscuit/cake experience. Since becoming a filthy hippy vegan, I have missed Jaffa Cakes greatly. The orangey bit is made with hooves, the cakey bit is made with chicken's periods, alas, it seemed that never again would I taste their Jaffa glory. Until this thought struck me: What if I could make my own Jaffa Cakes, ones which didn't contain animal ingredients? AND I could make a big one, the size of a normal cake, that you could slice up and serve for tea! Oh, this would be a project like no other. This would be a unparalleled feat of bakery. But I could undertake it, I could conquer the giant Jaffa Cake. This would not just be cookery, this would be ART!
Step one was to assemble all the requisite ingredients, like they do on Blue Peter. Here we have self-raising flour, sugar, margarine, egg-replacer and water to make the cakey bit; orange juice, agar flakes, cornflour, water and salt to make the smashing orangey bit; and dark chocolate to make the chocolatey bit.
Step two was to eat a little bit of the chocolate. I like chocolate.
Step three was to make the jelly. This is the orange juice with agar flakes sprinkled on top, barely visible. Agar is stuff made from under-water algae. Yay.
When the agar had kind of soaked up the juice, I put it in a saucepan and boiled it for a bit.
Then I added the cornflour-dissolved-in-water. According to something I read on the internets, jelly made partly with cornflour is more like proper gelatiney jelly than jelly made just with agar, which tends to be quite solid and rubbery.
In it goes:
When it was all boiled and mixed up nice, I poured a bit of it into a bowl which I had previously measured as being a good size to make the orangey bit in, so that the orangey bit and the spongey bit would be in correct proportion when I came to assemble the finished cake.
And then it went into the fridge to set, along with the rest of the jelly in a jug.
Step four, making the spongey bit. I mixed up the flour, sugar, margarine, egg-replacer (which is made of soya protein and potato starch) and water. It looked like pale, lumpy sick.
I bashed it about with a fork to get the lumps out, then poured it into a cake tin and put it in the oven.
Step five was to watch telly while the cakey bit was cooking. Hooray for Pocoyo!
When the cake was cooked and cooled and the jelly was set, it was time for step six: assembly. The jelly was plonked on the sponge:
And then the chocolate was melted and spread over the whole thing.
Once the chocolate was set, step seven. Eating. I cut myself a generous slice. The orangey bit wasn't as orangey-looking as in proper Jaffa Cakes. Maybe I should have put some food colouring in.
It tasted like spaz. The sponge was dense and sticky, because I put too much egg-replacer in.
The jelly was too solid - I should have used a higher cornflour-to-agar ratio - and not very tasty.
The chocolate was ace, though. 70% cocoa magic.
I decided to peel all the chocolate off and just eat that bit.
I conclude that my attempt at making a giant jaffa cake was unsuccessful. However, the principle behind the giant Jaffa Cake was sound, and I think that with a bit more practise I could master it. Perhaps in future I will try again, but for now I shall stick to just eating the chocolatey bit. I do like chocolate.