Monday, June 29, 2009

Chocolate and Oranges: Going Jaffa Cake Crazy! (Gluten Free)

Flourless Jaffa Cakes
Home Cooking

I was just lying in bed when a craving for jaffa cake hit me. When I think of jaffa cakes, I have a really PRECISE vision in mind: it's the they sell at McCafe. The cake is high and thick with marbled orange and brown. Spread over the top and sides is a thick, luxurious dark chocolate ganache. The texture is sticky but very dense.

The insides of my own jaffa muffins

It's hopeless when you have something in your mind to find a recipe that perfectly matches your memories. I SHOULD have just gone to McCafe and bought one. The problem is, most jaffa cake recipes online aren't marbled. There tends to be an orange and chocolate flavored thing in the ONE batter.

Inside of my jaffa cake - layered orange and brown :)

In essence, it probably wouldn't have mattered much. But I don't need logic. Logic can jump. I wanted TWO distinct colours.

The solution was to take the reigns and do my own thing. I decided to make 2 different cake batters and swirl them together. One is directly from Nigella Lawson's 'Feast' - it's her recipe for a flourless chocolate and orange cake. This provides the 'brown'. The other recipe is essentially the same as the first one but I omitted cocoa powder and added a bit of Grand Marnier (resembles an orange and almond loaf). I figured that if the 2 cake mixtures were similar, they'd cook at the same time.

I ended up with ALOT of batter. I played around and made cupcakes and larger cakes etc - with different combinations of the 2 mixtures. If you decide to follow my recipe, just keep in mind that the amount of orange and brown batter I made when used TOGETHER is about enough for about 30 muffins or 2 full-sized cakes. The separate quantities make 1 normal cake (i.e. the recipe for the flourless chocolate and orange cake makes a full-sized cake. Halve the quantities to make 8 or so muffins). It goes without saying that you can use the recipes separately or combine them like what I did.

Jaffa Cakes

BATTER 1: Flourless Chocolate and Orange

  • 2 small thin-skinned oranges, approx. 375g total weight (or 1 large)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder

1. Put the whole oranges in cold water in a medium saucepan. Place plates on top to make sure they're completely submerged. Turn on the heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the oranges for an hour or so, or until the skin is tender when you gently push a knife in.
2. Drain the oranges when they're done and wait for them to cool. Slice them open and remove any big pips.3. Blitz the oranges (including skin, pith and all) in a food processor until it forms a reasonably smooth pulp.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.5. Add the orange pulp and stir through (alternatively, you can just add all the ingredients into the food processor and blitz into a batter... my food processor isn't big enough for that).

BATTER 2: Flourless Orange and Almond

  • 2 small thin-skinned oranges, approx. 375g total weight (or 1 large)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 220 g ground almonds
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)

Same as Batter 1 (above photo shows all the ingredients just before they're mixed together)



Option 1 - baking batter 1 or batter 2 on their own

1. Pour whichever batter you chose into greased and lined muffin trays.
2. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees for 30-40min depending on your oven strength (if making a full-sized cake, you may need to bake for an hour).
3. At some point, you may need to cover the cakes with some foil to prevent the tops from burning. If necessary, you can reduce the heat to 170 degrees.
4. The cakes are done when an inserted knife comes out reasonably clean and the inside is set.
5. You can chose to decorate the cakes with some dark chocolate ganache and garnish with some orange zest.

Option 2 - creating marbled jaffa cakes

1. Fill your greased and lined muffin trays halfway with batter 1. Top it up with batter 2. Swirl a chopstick through the mixture. The same principle applies if you're making a full-sized cake - to create a marbling effect, just layer the 2 cake batter mixtures and swirl slightly (not too much or they'll muddle up).
2. Bake the same way as above.
3. Decorate with dark chocolate ganache and a bit of orange zest.


I made some plain choc-orange muffins using batter 1 alone:

I also made a mini jaffa cake with the 2 different mixtures marbled together:

The inside of this cake is shown at the start of this post (it was cut into rectangular slices).

I also made some jaffa muffins using both the mixtures:

I did a chocolate ganache using Green & Black's organic dark chocolate with a hint of orange and spice. I couldn't think of a better type of chocolate for what I was baking!

To make the ganache, break up the chocolate into pieces and place in a small non-stick saucepan. Add a tablespoon of milk or cream and turn on the heat to low. When the chocolate starts melting, add a little more milk or cream and stir it all together. Once the chocolate is a smooth mixture, add more milk/cream till you get the consistency you want. Set aside and let it cool before using.

The jaffa cakes were delicious. The texture is just right: sticky and dense. The chocolate and orange flavors are really strong. The cakes aren't really 'marbled' but the orange and brown layered together looks lovely anyway. My method was fiddly but that's just because I chose to do it this way - you can easily omit the marbling and make one batter to bake.


  1. Wow, you've done a great job with this recipe and all these photos! Thanks for sharing it all - you're not the only one with cravings for jaffa cake now! I agree with you about McCafe's. It's the absolute best gluten-free jaffa cake around. I’ve even bought whole cakes from them sometimes for special occasions.
    Thanks again for the recipe.

  2. Hi Anonymous...

    Aw shucks; no worries! Good luck Let me know how it goes :)