Waste not, want pastilles (or how to make Gluten free, Dairy Free Jaffa Cakes)

Remember the post I made a few days ago about candying Seville orange peels and making posset with the juice? Well, I had removed the seeds from the fruit and put them in a bowl with the dry white membranes from the juiced flesh. To 99.9% of people, that would have been the end of that. But when I went to try and drain the last bit of juice out of the bowl, it had gone! I was confused. Where did that juice go and why did the pips feel all jelly like and gross? Then the lightbulb went off. Pectin! I’ve only ever seen these levels of pectin in the steam juiced juice of certain apples and only when processed in a very particular way. So I decided that, rather than throw those seeds and membranes away, I would add water and boil them and see what happened. The answer…fruit pastilles. So for the ultimate in bonkers waste not want not recipes, here is mine for a very grown up kind of Jaffa cake. Slightly bitter jellies of Seville orange top fluffy little hogweed spiced sponge drops and are encased in dark chocolate. They’re divine!!!!

 

Seville orange Jaffa cakes

Seeds and membranes from 10 Seville oranges

1.5l water

2tbsp Seville orange peels

Granulated sugar.

Put your peels and pips into a large pot with the water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down really low and simmer gently until reduced by 3 quarters. It will be very thick and gloopy. Leave overnight.

The next day, push the liquid through a sieve. You should have one pint jug full. Using the same jug, measure out 1 pint of sugar and put into a large pot. The pot should be at least 8 times the volume of your mixture of it will boil over.

Line a large 42cm x 30cm cake pan with cling film. Try to make it as smooth as possible and overlap on all sides. If you can find a springform one this shape and size, even better!

Bring to the boil and keep at a rolling boil until a thermometer reads 103C or the juice on your spatula when lifted out from the liquid sets even as its dropping.

 

Pour into your dish. If large pockets of air appear under the clingfilm, lift it up gently and release the air. Leave to set overnight.

 

The next day, make your Jaffa cake sponge

Jaffa Sponge

For this, I simply copied the recipe I found on the BBC Food website. Why mess with a good thing? I also knew that, because of the method in which thiscake was made, that I would get perfect results by just substituting gluten free flour for normal wheat flour. This is something that hardly ever works but this time…success! I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly by adding hogweed seeds and a bit of xanthan gum to give the right consistency. I’ve also modified the method slightly.

100g caster sugar

4 eggs

100g Dove’s Gluten Free plain flour

1/2tsp Xanthan gum

1tsp ground dried common hogweed seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan

Line a 42cm x 30cm cake pan with greaseproof paper and lightly grease with oil.

Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and beat continuously for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is pale, fluffy and well combined. Sieve your flour and ground hogweed seeds over your eggs and sugar. Gently fold in until the flour is well incorporated. Give it a vigorous stir for about 10 seconds or until it forms a slightly stretchy batter. Be careful not to knock all the air out of it! Dollop it into your cake pan then spread it out until it is completely smooth using an angled spatula. Cook it for 13 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 1 minute before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Gently remove the greaseproof paper and be careful not to pull up the cake’s crust while you do it!

 

When completely cool, turn your jaffa sponge onto your seville orange pastille. This bit is really important! Make sure that you turn it so that the side that was originally on the underside of your cake tin and attached to your greaseproof paper is the side on top. If you do it the other way, in a day or two, your lovely golden brown top will become sticky and leave your jaffa cakes to attach itself to any passing fingers/plates/cake carriers.

Trim off the edges of the pastille that are not attached to cake and set aside. Then, take the whole baking tray that your pastille is sitting on (and this is why I use a springform rectaungular cake pan for all my pastille making – makes life a lot easier!) and turn it over onto a chopping board. Gently peel off your clingfilm.

 

Using a sharp knife, cut your pastille/cake sandwich into squares about 1.5 inches wide. Place them all onto a wire rack.

Melt 200g of Couverture chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. I use Callebaut but find that Green & Blacks Dark Cook’s Chocolate to be excellent and readily available.

Using chocolate dipping forks, hold your jaffa cakes over your bowl of melted chocolate and spoon it over until it is completely covered. Gently tap the fork on the edge of your bowl to encourage any air bubbles to leave and to give you a smooth finish. Gently push it off your dipping fork ( I used the rounded side of a metal skewer to do this) and onto a silicone mat to set completely.

 

By the time you’ve finished dipping all of them, your first jaffa cake will be ready for quality control. Clearly it tastes better when eaten with fingers still covered in chocolate!

Muhaimina Said-Allsopp