As promised in my last post, I decided to have a go at baking the ‘technical bake’ of The Great British Bake Off to prove that I could easily win the title of star baker – this week was jaffa cakes. Only problem was that I ended up sacking the jaffa cakes and making cardamom shortbread.
So to begin with, I don’t like jaffa cakes. I’ve never liked them – mainly because it’s not really a cake and it’s not really a biscuit. It’s like biting into (kind of) chocolatey, (kind of) orangey air. So here we had our first obstacle. I decided to compromise by changing the base, opting for a spelt (purely because I have 2 bags of spelt flour right now) shortbread base – more of a jaffa millionaire shortbread than a cake.
And then, typically, I decided to add spices to the dough as well, because apparently I’m too much of a snob for a classic chocolate orange combination. Cardamom goes amazingly well with both orange and chocolate and adds kind of an aromatic warmth, so I crushed a few pods and added that to the dough too.
Then I just got plain lazy. I couldn’t be bothered to chill the dough and then spend my precious time (a whole 20 minutes probably) cutting the dough into rounds, so I baked the whole thing and cut the shortbread slab into squares instead. Jaffa cake now moving further and further away into the recognisable round pillows that I’m guessing Paul and Mary were after.
I then tasted it and thought ‘sod it, I hate jelly anyway’ and instead chucked some melted dark chocolate on the biscuits instead. Perfectly executed batch of identical jaffa cakes? Nope. Effort worthy of contention for star baker? Definitely not. Good biscuits? Yeah. Food is food. Maybe I’ll have more luck next week – it’s biscuit week after all.
If you hate jaffa cakes too, here’s the recipe for cardamom shortbreads.
Cardamom spelt shortbread
230g chilled butter, cubed
225g wholemeal spelt flour
4 or 5 cardamom pods, seeds crushed (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of salt
Dash of milk (only if the mixture is too dry to come together)
100g dark or white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a square baking tin (I used a 26cmx26xm one)
- Mix together the flours, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
- Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Bring the mixture together to form a dough – you may need a tbsp or 2 of milk. The dough should be pretty short though, so don’t do this unless it’s refusing to come together. Avoid working the dough too much to avoid a tough, elastic dough as the gluten will start to develop.
- Press into the prepared cake tin until even and relatively smooth.
- Bake for around 20 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.
- Cut into squares and drizzle with melted dark or white chocolate.