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?
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
75g plain flour
For the mousse layer:
100g milk chocolate
2 teaspoons gelatine
2 tablespoons water
300ml pouring cream
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.