What’s Cooking – Jaffa Cakes – we tried, we baked, we learnt

What’s Cooking – Jaffa Cakes -- we tried, we baked, we learnt

We are all, from time to time, tempted to try something new, at least I hope so… Last weekend we felt very adventurous so we decided to try making Jaffa Cakes. We knew that it would be time consuming and not so straight forward but still, it was something we wanted to try.

We searched the net for our perfect recipe but we couldn’t find one. We didn’t want to use any gelatine, so we decided to make stuff up as we went along.

Hmmm, it didn’t work out as we planned.

We finished the process and created 12, no, scrub that… 11 Jaffa Cakes… actually no… We baked 11 bases but ate one base as a test subject; so in the end we only made 10 Jaffa Cakes.

The process wasn’t as complicated as we first thought, but we did hit a few problems along the way.

What’s Cooking - Jaffa Cakes – we tried, we baked, we learntProblem 1

All our bases stuck to the baking tray, we had to almost “chisel” them out.

Solution: Better greasing of the tin or bake them in muffin cases.

What’s Cooking - Jaffa Cakes - we tried, we baked, we learntProblem 2

Our bases were cooked but tasted rubbish and didn’t even look the part.

Solution: Work out some better recipe and stick to it when the end product is perfect, this one was not; this should fix both the taste and the looks problem.

What’s Cooking – Jaffa Cakes – we tried, we baked, we learntProblem 3

Our filling was way too powerful. We used Christmas Marmalade with Cranberries from Mackays, which we thought would be perfect and it possibly would have been if we hadn’t put half of the jar into just 10 Jaffa Cakes.

Solution: Use much less marmalade

What’s Cooking – Jaffa Cakes - we tried, we baked, we learntProblem 4

Our filling kind of melted a little once we started pouring hot chocolate on top of it.

Solution: Place your half made Jaffa Cakes in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill and firm up a little bit. Once you take them out to pour chocolate over them, the chocolate should set much faster, and then straight back into the fridge till fully set.

So you see, cooking and baking is a journey… with a giant learning curve… we tried something new and it didn’t really work out, but we did indentify the problems and we will try again… let’s hope next time everything will go according to plan.

So for now, I don’t have a Jaffa Cake recipe to share with you. Once we try again (and again if needed) and produce the perfect homemade Jaffa Cake then I will share it with you.

What’s Cooking -- Jaffa Cakes – we tried, we baked, we learnt

Did you have any kitchen related epic failures lately?

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers

what’s cooking – my chocolate and jam wafer

This is a recipe from my childhood. Every family gathering my auntie would indulge us with her famous Chocolate and Jam Wafers. It’s weird but at the time I never asked her for the recipe and thus never attempted to make them… That is until a few months back. As I do not live in Poland any more I don’t have a lot of occasions for tasting her wafers so I thought it was time for me to start making them myself.

So here it is – Chocolate and Jam Wafers – just as I remember them from my childhood.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers - Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of dry wafer sheets*
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 200g powdered milk
  • 5tbs cocoa powder
  • 125ml water
  • ½ jar of jam**

*This might not be so easy to find but if you have a Polish shop close by I am sure they will stock it, they are called “Andruty”. They come in packs of five and are just large wafer sheets rather like pasta sheets, but bigger.

**Ideally you need a jam which isn’t too sweet. The idea is to break the sweetness of the chocolate. I used a Morello Cherry Jam from Mackays and it worked perfectly. You can find it in your local Asda store.

Method:

In a cooking pot melt the butter.

Once your butter has melted and started to foam add water, sugar and cocoa powder (to make your chocolate mix more luxurious you can add some chocolate shavings), stir well and bring it to boil.

What’s Cooking - Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Put aside and allow it to cool for a while.

Once your mixture is hand warm, add the powdered milk into it and stir well. Ideally you want to get rid of any “chunks” of milk powder so whisk well. You are aiming for a smooth and bits free mixture.

At this point your mixture should be ready so all you have left to do is to put it all together.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers

If you look at the above picture, you will see two different textures of your wafer sheet. It is important to place the side with bigger holes facing upwards. This way more mixture will get into holes making your creation perfectly moist and yummy.

So let’s build!

Take sheet one of your wafers and place big holes uppermost.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers.

We will start with a layer of jam. Spread the jam around ensuring that you are going to the very edge of the wafer. Do not leave any dry or uncovered spaces. Concurrently don’t layer it on too thickly or the finished result will be very sweet and maybe sickly. You are aiming for a nice thin even layer.

What’s Cooking –- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Once this is done, place the second piece of wafer on top of your jam layer, still remembering to place it big holes up.

What’s Cooking -- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Cover with your chocolate mixture to the same extent you did with the jam.

Repeat this layering process with the chocolate until you are left with just one dry piece of wafer.

The last piece goes other way around – meaning the large holes will go face down and touch the chocolate layer, giving us a nice and even finish on both sides of the wafer.

What’s Cooking Chocolate and Jam WafersWhat’s Cooking --- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Now comes a very important part. You have to turn your creation upside down. This will allow the jam and chocolate fillings to seep into and coat each neighbouring wafer sheet. Turn it upside down and place something big flat and heavy on top. Just make sure that whatever you place is at least the size of the waffle itself so it will weight down evenly, we have found a couple of cookbooks do the trick lovely.

Leave for few hours. If you have a space in the fridge, you can place it in the fridge, but it is not essential.

After a few hours when all the filling has had time to spread evenly, you are ready to cut your wafer into your desired shape and portions.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Mackays Jam Wafers

Ideally for cutting you want to use a large and very sharp knife. If your knife gets dirty, wipe it clean before you cut the next piece.

Place your wafer in an airtight container so it can stay fresh for longer. Again, if you have space in the fridge then pop hem in there for storage however it can live on the kitchen top just as well.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers!

I like just a wafer on its own but Mark thinks that it is a perfect companion to be served with ice-creams 🙂

So what do you think?

Would this creation appeal to you?