Thursday 19 January 2017

Jaffa Torte - New and improved!

An early birthday cake for me... When I did my first jaffa torte, there were positives and negatives, and I had a list of things I'd like to tweak and change. Whipping up a self-congratulatory birthday cake seemed the perfect opportunity.

I'm really pleased with how this came's pretty much as it looked in my head. My timings were still all over the place, and I could have made it quicker (took ~3 hours, probably could have done it in 2 had I been a bit more organised, rather than making the various components one after the other).

Things I tweaked;
  1. It's bigger (21cm sponge diameter compared to 18cm diameter of the original), so a larger sponge mixture, and more icing mixtures as well.
  2. Added an orange syrup, which was brushed onto each sponge layer
  3. More dramatic decoration, which used a lot more icing and ganache up (a good thing)
  4. More gelatine in the jelly, making it slightly firmer
  5. Made the jelly in a cake frame, making it marginally easier to handle. 
  6. Gluten-free! This was to be eaten at work, and a couple of people are coeliac. As such, I used a gluten-free flour, with baking powder added.
  7. I used a higher percentage chocolate in the buttercream, which I think it needed.
Only downside is that with the larger diameter, I could only fit one layer in the oven at a time (using 1 shelf...probably could use 2, but to be honest the sponge baking is not the time-consuming part of this, it's the prep for the meringue buttercream and the ganache).

Jaffa Torte  (v2) - Recipe

Jelly Ingredients

  • Juice from one orange (~75g)
  • 50g tap water
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 5 gelatine sheets
1) Line a swiss roll tin with foil, with a flat base

2) Place a cake frame in the tin, and then bring the foil sides up so that any overrun sits against the foil

3) Place the juice, water and sugar in a small saucepan

4) Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water to "bloom" for 4-5 minutes

5) Heat the orange juice mixture over a low heat until it is shimmering (just shy of boiling)

6) Wring out the gelatine, and add to the orange mixture

7) Remove from the heat and stir in until the gelatine is fully dissolved.

8) Pour the jelly mixture into the cake frame, and place in the fridge to set

Sponge Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • ½tsp cream of tartar
  • 200g gluten-free flour (I used Doves Farm stuff)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of 2 oranges
1) Pre-heat the oven to 200'C

2) On a sheet of baking parchment, draw a circle 21cm in diameter using a dark, black pen. This will be your template which you place under blank sheets of baking parchment (then pull out before baking). Cut 6 other sheets of baking parchment to the same size as your preferred baking trays.

3) Place the eggs and caster sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment

4) Whisk until starting to foam, and add the cream of tartar

5) Continue to whisk hard until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage...this can take 7-8 minutes.

6) Sieve the flour and baking powder together into a bowl, and use a dry whisk to mix it together (you want the baking powder evenly distributed throughout the flour)

7) Sieve the flour into the whisked egg mixture half at a time, along with the orange zest, folding it in  each time until there are no dry pockets left. You should have a smooth, light pale mixture.

8) On a baking sheet, place your template, and a sheet of plain baking parchment on top (you should be able to see the circle through it)

9) Spoon ~100g of the cake mixture onto the baking parchment, and using the back of the spoon carefully smooth it out to just overlap the template circle on all sides. once done, pull out the template

10) Bake for 6 minutes

11) Remove to a wire rack to cool, then peel off the baking parchment

12) Repeat 8-11 for 5 more sponge discs (I had 2 baking sheets on the go at once, and prepared one while the next was baking).

13) Once cool, trim the sponge discs to the same size as each other (the best way to do this is use whatever you drew round to make your template, and trim the edges with a sharp knife).

Chocolate Meringue Buttercream Icing - Ingredients

  • 150g dark (70% chocolate), chopped up
  • 3 egg whites
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 330g butter (room temperature)
1) Prepare a bain-marie steamer (or, as I call it, a colander over a saucepan of simmering water)

2) Place the chopped-up chocolate in a small heatproof bowl

3) place the bowl on the bain-marie, and stir until the chocolate is 3/4's melted

4) Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is fully melted

5) Place to one side to cool

6) Place the icing sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl

7) Place the bowl on a bain-marie, and use an electric hand-whisk to whip the eggs gently until the sugar has fully dissolved, then increase to whisk harder.

8) Continue to whisk until the mixture reaches a firm peaks stage. Place to one side to cool (you're going to mix it with butter, and you don't want it melting it)

9) Place the butter in a stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment

10) Beat until the butter is very light, pale and soft. You'll need to scrape the sides down a few times.

11) Add in the cooled meringue, and mix on a medium speed until combined.

12) Add the melted, cooled chocolate, and beat on a medium speed until smooth

Orange Syrup Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 50g caster sugar
1) Place the juice and sugar in a small saucepan

2) Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved

3) Turn up to a medium heat, and stir until just before it starts to boil

4) Remove from the heat and allow to cool


I strongly recommend using a display board (23cm) and a decorating turntable with something non-slip. it makes the decorating way, way easier!

1) Space a sponge disc in the middle of your display board

2)  Brush approximately 1/6th of the orange syrup over the sponge layer using a pastry brush

3) Spoon approximately 1/7th of the meringue buttercream on top, and using a small palette knife spread evenly to the edges (don't worry if you go over the edge, but make it even)

4) Place a second sponge disc on top, and repeat 2-3 for this.

5) Repeat for the remaining sponge discs. You do want to coat the top of the cake as well with the meringue buttercream.

6) Using a palette knife and the remaining meringue buttercream, smooth off the sides, filling in any gaps and getting as clean an edge as you can. You're going to ice it, so don't spend forever, but the cleaner you can make it, the easier the decorating will be

7) Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the icing.

Ganache Ingredients

  • 150g dark (50%) chocolate, finely chopped 
  • 85g full-fat milk
  • 25g butter
1) Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl

2) Put the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat

3) Heat the milk until it's shimmering (not quite boiling), and remove from the heat

4) Pour the milk onto the chocolate. DO NOT STIR. Leave it for 3-4 minutes to melt all the chocolate (I put the bowl on top of the saucepan to give it a bit more warmth without overdoing it)

5) Stir the mixture to form a smooth, lump-free liquid.

6) Add in the butter and stir until melted in.

7) Leave to cool until in a pipeable consistency. Stir it occasionally to keep it smooth.

8) Transfer to a piping bag with a small star nozzle

Orange Buttercream Ingredients

  • 100g butter (room temperature)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange

1) Put the sugar, butter and zest in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Beat slowly until a smooth mixture is formed, then increase the speed to slacken it. You might need to scrape the sides down a couple of times.

3) Add the orange juice sparingly while continuing to mix until a smooth, pipeable consistency is reached. You may not need all the orange juice.

4) Transfer to a piping bag with a small nozzle attachment


1) Take the jelly sheet, remove from the cake frame, and turn upside down onto a sheet of baking parchment

2) carefully peel the foil off the back

3) Flip back upright (yeah, it's fiddly, try not to tear it...I haven't quite got the knack of this yet)

4) Cut the largest circle you can...this will probably be just within the diameter of your cake, which is perfect

5) Place the jelly slice centrally on top of the cake

6) place a suitable circular object in the middle of the cake to act as a piping template. I used a 13cm cake tin.

7) Take the ganache piping bag, and pipe small rosettes equidistant around the template, leaving a gap roughly the size of the rosettes in between each

8) Pipe a second circle outside this, piping level with the gaps to form a chequer-board pattern.

9) Continue this down the side of the cake, resulting in a chequerboard of ganache rosettes all over the cake (expect the bit under the  template object at the top)

10) Take the orange buttercream piping bag, and repeat the process, but filling in all the gaps you left. This should result in a brown/orange chequerboard of rosettes over the entire cake.

11) Remove the template from the top to reveal a large circle of jelly on top