Wednesday, 11 September 2013
12:09 by Joey 15 comments
The Jaffa Cake: a three-part confection of sponge base, orangey jelly and a chocolate coating, and an English institution. If you've not encountered the Jaffa Cake before, it's around the size of a biscuit, and goes rather well with cups of tea.
Is the Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit though? It may seem like an idle question for pub bores and vegan bloggers (and vegan bloggers who are also pub bores) to debate, but it's worth several millions of pounds. Seriously! You see, in the UK, chocolate covered biscuits are taxed, but chocolate covered cakes are not.
The Jaffa Cake vs Jaffa Biscuit debate ended in a court case around 20 years ago, when the company that makes Jaffa Cakes, McVities, fought to get the Jaffa Cake officially declared a cake (and an un-taxable one at that). This required a thorough examination of the orangey-treat at issue by those in the legal profession, who looked into all its defining characteristics including its size, ingredients, attractiveness to children (?), presentation and whether is goes stale, like a cake, or soggy, like a biscuit.
The judge ruled that the Jaffa Cake is indeed a cake, and so it escaped a 20 percent levy, as cake is a staple food (and shouldn't be taxed, according to the government) but biscuits are a luxury (and you should pay more for the privilege, you filthy biscuit-eating spendthrifts, you!)
Alas, either way, Jaffa Cakes not vegan, so I've not had one for a very long time.
That is, until I got my sweaty little mitts on a copy of Ms Cupcake: The Naughtiest Vegan in Town, which, among its many sugary recipes, has the secret of vegan Jaffa Cakes within. (Important note: you can win a copy of said excellent book over on Vegan Mofo HQ if you get in there before 11pm UK time tonight.)
I set to work making small discs of sponge, waiting til they were cool, topping with marmalade, and then melted vegan dark chocolate.
The hardest part was waiting the 20 minutes until they were cool enough to eat. I don't think most of them lasted another 20 minutes, to be honest. Yum. Cake? Biscuit? Who cares? They were amazing.
Expect more experiments with Ms Cupcake's work post-MoFo...