People often forget, but I’m not British. I never grew up eating beans on toast, having a Sunday roast, I never had a reason to bemoan the renaming of Opal Fruits to Starbursts. Sometimes when something typically British comes up in conversation I’ll look completely clueless, and that’s when strangers realise I’m not from this quaint island. You’d think then that being vegan would alienate me from living the full British experience, but actually, it’s quite the contrary: I get to experiment and live the British experience, as I put it, but in a much more environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free and healthy way.
Take for example, the beloved Jaffa Cake.
(Why do they call them cakes? They’re biscuits. Chewy, oozy biscuits, but definitely not cakes. But I digress.)
This is inspired by another Jamie magazine recipe from a few issues ago. I’ve been drooling and dreaming of a Jaffa Cake cake recipe ever since, and decided to make my own.
To accommodate the dietary requirements of all my readers, I made this cake gluten-free. So far I’ve dabbled very little in gluten and wheat-free baking, and this is the first time I’ve created a truly successful GF/WF cake. I used a basic GF/WF self-raising flour mix by Doves Farm: it worked very well — the texture was perfectly spongy, dry and held together very well — but the flour itself had an odd aftertaste. (Having tasted it, I can only describe it as an “ungluteny flavour” — rather unhelpful, I know, if you’ve never tasted gluten-free flour.) It was alright, but in the future, I will explore other flour options.
Poof, all gone!
Just like my days as an undergraduate student.
This past Wednesday marked my final day of classes. It’s official: I will never, ever again take another class at my uni. It’s so odd. I don’t really feel like the event was properly inscribed into this chapter of my life — like there should have been some ceremonial celebration, a speech, just something to make it feel more tangible, more lasting. But it just came and went. I cut up the jaffa cake, passed it around in class, and my box was empty by the time the last class was finished.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 32-35 minutes + 10 minutes
200g Doves Mill Gluten and Wheat-Free Self-Raising Flour
100g brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil
100ml unsweetened soy milk
zest of 2 oranges
juice of 1/2 orange
For the chocolate ganache:
100g dark chocolate
3-4 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC. Line a 7″ round cake tin with baking parchment (or grease it).
Place the dry ingredients in one bowl and combine the wet ingredients in another. Simply fold the wet ingredients into the dry, bit by bit. Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 32 to 35 minutes. Keep checking the cake as it bakes: if the top is looking golden, it’s probably ready. Insert a knife to make sure: if it comes out of the cake clean, the cake is baked.
Cool on a wire rack.
In a small pot, gently heat the soy milk. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the milk when it starts to bubble (after about 3 minutes). Keep the pan on medium heat, swirling the chocolate around every few seconds with a wooden spoon. Gradually the chocolate will melt and become silky.
Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes. Spread over the cake with the back of your spoon. Cool at room temperature (not in the fridge: that will crack the chocolate ganache).
If anyone can suggest better GF/WF flours to me, please do! I’m open to all ideas and suggestions; teach me what you know!