Can I manage a Triple Chocolate Mirror Glaze Jaffa Cake?!
Here we go! After a bit of a delay, The Great British Bake Off has returned to our screens. Despite it being in it’s 7th year, I still love it. I love the fact that it’s feel good tv. There’s a little suspense, humour and joy amongst the seemingly ‘makable’ bakes.
I always think that although I couldn’t do it in the tent or with a time limit, that if I could just potter along at my own pace, I’d be able to recreate some of the bakes. That’s why, for the second year, I have joined Jenny at Mummy Mishaps and all the other amazing bakers (I am not worthy) in the Great Bloggers Bake Off, where every week, if able, we bake along with each week’s theme.
So the first week of the Bake Off 2016, was as expected, cakes. First, a drizzle cake. Second, the Technical Challenge was Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cakes and finally, the Show Stopper was to make a Mirror Glazed caked.
I decided to make a Triple Chocolate Jaffa Cake with a Mirror Glaze.
Let me give you some background. I am a disabled single mum. I suffer from Chronic Fatigue, Sero Negative Rheumatoid Arthritis and problems with my neck, back, hips and pelvis. Woo hoo! Once upon a time I was quite a capable human being. Now, I pretty much suck at most things. It’s ok, I’m used to it. The problem is, That in my head, I still think I can do things like bake a technical cake. With my son. Then, I notch it up a level and try something new.
One thing that I’ve not mentioned on my blog before, is that I have mostly transitioned to a vegetarian diet. I’m not calling myself vegetarian as I don’t want to label myself and fail – I’m trying to change 37 years of habits and I’m doing well but I’m not 100% there. So, with this in mind, I decided to try a vegetarian mirror glaze. It usually contains gelatine leaves but I thought I would try using Dr Oetkers Vege-Gel instead. Oh dear.
I suddenly noticed at 8am this morning, that I needed this bake on line and linked up by midnight tonight. Oh crap. I started shopping at 3pm. Not good. We made the cake in 3.5hrs from shopping to finished. I think you might be able to tell…….Mirror Glaze it is not, but bloody shiny it is!
This bake did not work. I could have made an easy peasy lemon drizzle cake. It would have looked nice and pretty. Oh well. The chocolate cake is blooming amazing though. That is not a fail. It’s epic. It’s also a recipe I have never tried before. If I could hang my head in shame, I would. What was I thinking?
Anyway. Ready, Steady, BAKE.
First we started with the Jelly. This is an immediate fail. I was so focused on trying a vegetarian mirror glaze, that I totally forgot that most jelly’s contain gelatine. Please don’t hate on me. I’m tired and my brain is fogged up.
We used a Hartley’s Orange Jelly and dissolved it in 4.5 floz of boiling water. I then added a table spoon of marmalade for depth. I had to microwave it to get it to fully dissolve but it was easy enough. I chose a pan as close to the size of my cake tins as possible and we made the Jaffa layer of the cake. This went straight into the freezer.
Now it was time for the cake. Just to make life that little bit harder, I chose a new chocolate cake recipe to try that was different to any I’ve tried before, but I am so glad that I did! It is really an amazing cake. The depth of flavour and texture of the sponge is heavenly.
Its a super easy all in one method and my super star 4 year old cracked the eggs like a pro. Proud Mama moment.
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 350g/12½oz caster sugar
- 85g/3oz cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 free-range eggs
- 250ml/9fl oz milk
- 125ml/4½fl oz vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml/9fl oz boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
- This is an easy all in one recipe. Put all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined. I used an electric hand mixer.
- Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.) It is likely to be the of a similar thickness of double cream. Don't worry!
- Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.
I baked the cakes in smaller tins than the recipe suggested – purely because I don’t own two 20cm tins. Hey ho, it meant that we could make muffins as well. Win win in my son’s eyes.
The cakes baked really nicely and as the jelly before, went straight into the freezer to cool as quickly as possible.
I made a simple 140g Butter, 280g icing sugar buttercream and added a couple of table spoons of coco powder and a little milk and beat it with an electric mixer for as long as I could.
When the cakes were cool, I levelled them off, and began to assemble the jaffa cake. I started with a little buttercream on the top of the bottom layer. I placed the jelly on top, which came out of the tin very easily after I ran it under the warm tap for a second or two. Then a little more buttercream on the underside of the top layer, and I sandwiched them together.
I then applied a crumb coat to the entire cake, which wasn’t the easiest thing to do as the jelly meant that the layers moved, but I did my best and yes, you’ve guessed it, chucked it in the freezer.
I did all this with the ‘help’ of my son….
Next, came the disaster.
I tried to make a vegetarian mirror glaze. Silly, silly me. I started with this recipe for a mirror glaze from BBC Food but omitted the gelatine leaves.
- 2 leaves gelatine
- 225g/8oz sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 150g/5½oz cocoa powder
- 120ml/4fl oz double cream
Instead, I tried the Dr Oetkers Vege-Gel. I tried to research it as much as possible. They make it clear on the website that this is not a replacement for gelatine and will not work in the same way so I just thought I’d wing it. Oh dear.
So. I prepared the mirror glaze per instructions. I heated the sugar and water until it boiled. Added the golden syrup, cream and coco powder. Now, at this point, you would add the gelatine and then pass it through a sieve.
Mistake number one was to not sieve the mixture BEFORE adding the Vege-Gel.
I prepared the Vege-Gel by mixing it with cold water and bringing it to the boil. I had read that people had wished they had used more then one packet so I used two packets and dissolved it in 400ml of water.
I then added it to my beautiful, glossy and smooth mirror glaze base and it grew into a lumpy mass. Almost as if it had seized.
I boldly carried on with the bake. I put the ‘gloop’ aside and gave my cake another coat of butter cream, with some hope of making it as smooth an level as possible.
I then attacked the mirror glaze. I beat the living daylights out of it, heated it and then added more double cream. i’m not sure how much but it was until it looked a bit better. I then sieved it and it looked much improved. Still not a mirror glaze though.
After my cake had cooled again and the very shiny, non mirror glaze and cooled below 38 degrees ( I read that it had to be below that on one of many websites that I consulted today), I said a little prayer and dumped it on top of the cake.
Despite how it turned out, it tasted delicious! If I were to make it again, I would use a ganache instead of buttercream but I just didn’t have time to make, cool and whip one today, on top of all the other stages.
There are recipes for vegetarian mirror glaze’s online, using Agar so don’t despair if you would like to try it yourself.
So there we go. My Bake Off Triple Chocolate Mirror Glazed Jaffa Cake.
It may not be a mirror but it is very tasty and very shiny.
What have I learnt from this? I need to get more organised, plan ahead and stick to the basics. No more technical bakes or show stoppers…..until next time.