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Layer upon Layer: Jaffa Slice

I’m going to have to make some more meat soon as this year’s blog posts have been surprisingly biased towards desserts and that is so unlike Nic Cooks!  Yes, it’s that time of the month again, it’s time for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop.  This month hosted by KC of The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader the theme is layer upon layer.  This one was the most challenging on the old brain as nothing immediately struck me. I did a bit of Googling and a bit of Tweeting and searched through my cook book collection and came up with this.  Four layers of yumminess partly inspired by one of my favourite biscuits – the Jaffa Cake and partly inspired by a chocolate slice recipe I found in the Country Women’s Association Classics cookbook.

The Jaffa Cake is found in the biscuit aisle of UK supermarkets but by definition is a cake.  A round, thin layer of sponge topped with a circle of orange jelly and covered in chocolate.  I have heard the biscuit versus cake debate argued on many occasion, but it actually went to court, and cake won out.  Apparently, to classify something as a biscuit it has to go soft when stale whereas a cake goes hard.  That makes a Jaffa Cake a cake – every day’s a school day.

My Jaffa slice, has a cake base, but a cake baked with plain flour so it doesn’t rise. It’s then topped with an orange jelly layer. I could’ve topped it with chocolate and be done with it, but when I found the chocolate marshmallow mousse layer in a recipe in the Country Women’s Association cook book, I couldn’t resist adding another decadent layer.

I was fully prepared to have to make something else at the last minute to offer the blog hop, as I had no idea whether the Jaffa slice would work or not.  I thought it would be ridiculously sweet (I’m glad I have no idea how to calculate the calories for my recipes) but it is actually a good combination of textures and the bitter chocolate and not too sweet orange layer perfectly compliment the sweeter mousse and sponge layers.  And doesn’t it make a pretty picture?

Jaffa Slice (serves 24)

For the jelly layer:
5 sheets Titanium grade leaf gelatine
700ml orange juice, bits removed
100ml sugar syrup (made by dissolving equal quantities of sugar with water)

For the cake layer:
75g caster sugar
3 eggs
75g plain flour

For the mousse layer:
100g marshmallows
100g milk chocolate
80ml milk
2 teaspoons gelatine
2 tablespoons water
300ml pouring cream

To finish:
200g dark chocolate

Start by making the jelly.  Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water until they start to bloom.  Heat the orange juice and sugar syrup until they just start to boil then allow to cool for a couple of minutes.  Gently squeeze the excess liquid from the gelatin leaves and add to the warm orange juice and stir until dissolved. Tip into a square or rectangular tin that allows for about a centimetre depth of jelly. It should also be the same size as or slightly larger than the cake tin.  I also lined the tin with cling film for easy release.  Allow to cool before putting it in the fridge to set.

Next make the sponge base. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a square (20×20) baking tin with baking paper.

Put the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water (don’t allow the bowl to touch the water).  Whisk until pale and fluffy and almost doubled in volume.  Gradually add the flour until it forms a batter then pour into the baking tin and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.  Once cooked a skewer should come out clean.  Set aside and allow to cool in the tin.  You may have to weigh down the cake a little so the edges don’t start to curl.

Wile the cake is cooling make the mousse layer.  Set another bowl over the pan with the hot water in and melt the chocolate, marshmallows and milk together.  Once melted, combine the gelatine with the water and add to the chocolate marshmallow mix.  I would normally use leaf gelatine, but I couldn’t work out how to do the conversion as the Country Woman’s Association recipe uses powder.  Feel free to use leaf if you know how to translate the recipe, I was getting conflicting advise online.

Once the chocolate mixture is cool, whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate marshmallow mix.  I didn’t end up using all of the cream as it seemed to be diluting the chocolate look quite a lot and I wanted it to still taste chocolatey.

Now it’s time to assemble.  I had to cut the jelly into a square to make it fit on top of the cake.  In the tin, carefully place the jelly square on top of the sponge layer. Next, pour the chocolate marshmallow layer on top of the jelly, smooth the top and place in the fridge to set.

To finish melt the dark chocolate and allow to cool, but make sure it doesn’t set.  Once the chocolate marshmallow layer has set, gently pour the chocolate on top and put back in the fridge to set.

Once set it is ready to eat.  In order to slice without cracking the top you need to heat the knife to cut through the chocolate layer.  I don’t think it needs any accompaniments, all the flavours and textures are good to go.

Don’t forget, this is a blog hop, have a look at the other entries below and why not enter your own…


Comment from the kitchen crusader
Time March 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm

wow! Looks amazing! Thanks for getting involved.

Comment from JJ @ 84thand3rd
Time March 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

These look gorgeous! Love the combo! Will def remember that cake vs biscuit definition too. Three cheers for dessert 😉

Comment from Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg
Time March 20, 2012 at 3:47 am

These are so pretty! They are assembled perfectly. You must have good hand eye coordinaton:)

Comment from Lizzy (Good Things)
Time March 20, 2012 at 4:09 am


Comment from Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy
Time March 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

OMG They look so amazing, what a fabulous dessert. The pictures are stunning and I am sure it tastes divine. Happy to hear the debate on biscuit vs cake has been closed, nice work.

Comment from bambi
Time March 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

wow! Truly layer upon layer of deliciousness! Love the combination of chocolate-cake-orange jelly! Super yum!

Comment from nic
Time March 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for the comments, Miss Kimbers, I assembled the slice in the cake tin, so no need for good hand eye coordination, and the baking paper meant it was easy to get out at the end.

I think I also need to adjust the serving size, I thought I was going to cut all squares in half for a modest portion, but alas I managed to polish off a whole one today no dramas! Maybe serves 12…

Comment from Winston
Time March 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Four different textures… Four different flavours. But can see how it totally works! STUNNING dessert, Nic. It’s so well thought out and executed. So simple, yet elegant

Comment from Nic@diningwithastud
Time March 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

It does indeed look very pretty. I love it :) such perfect layers! Almost too pretty to eat…..almost 😉

Comment from Monica (@gastromony)
Time March 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

I *love* Jaffa Cakes :)) This dessert is so pretty :) Very nice job!

Comment from ping
Time March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I can’t buy pouring cream in Vietnam.Can I instead by whipping cream?

Comment from nic
Time March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Yes for sure, Ping.

Comment from Colin
Time March 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Someone close to you(back in Blighty) has shown the girls in her office this recipe……guess who has to now attempt to reproduce your wonderful creation?

Comment from nic
Time March 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

You can do it Colin! Just make your you get photographic evidence!

Comment from muppy
Time March 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

it looks so perfect, fantastic job :)

Comment from Moya
Time March 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

When I was a kid I absolutely loved Jaffa Cakes (from a packet) so I can only imagine that your Jaffa slice brings the good old Jaffa Cakes to another level of delicious taste! :)

Comment from Jennifer (Delicieux)
Time March 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Wow, this looks fantastic! I love chocolate orange.

Comment from Jacqui
Time March 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

That looks SO awesome! We LOVE choc orange in this house and always have dark choc in the house – I think this might be a special occasion thing to keep in mind!! It looks so perfect as well, good job!

Comment from Sophie
Time March 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

They are such perfect layers! I am so impressed with the neatness let alone how yummy it would be.

Comment from Samantha
Time April 21, 2012 at 5:53 am

I was lucky and in the office when the certain someone bought these cakes in, they tasted really nice and the orange was just perfect and could only imagine how much hard work went into them, thank you very much xx

Comment from nic
Time April 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hi Samantha, thanks for stopping by! It’s good to now Colin managed to pull it off 😉

Comment from Keen@gourmetglobetrotting
Time May 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Hey Nic, this cake looks amazing…see if I have time to attempt it soon!

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