I’m not much of a ‘live’ TV viewer (more of a binge Netlix user!), but the three programmes I make an exception for are Masterchef, The Great British Sewing Bee and, of course, BAKE OFF. I’m still not exactly sure what makes Bake Off such compelling viewing considering it’s just a bunch of people whisking up eggs and watching oven doors but the magic mix of Mary Berry, Mel and Sue and the Hollywood Death Stare has got me hooked. Along with most of the country.

I won’t spoil it too much in case you haven’t caught up yet, but Week One’s technical challenge was to make… Jaffa Cakes! Honestly, you’d have thought some of them had never heard of a Jaffa cake by the way they went about it so I decided to give it a go and see if it was really as difficult as some of them made it look.

I tracked down Mary Berry’s recipe on the BBC Food website, invited my best friend over and we set to work.

It seemed an ODD recipe to start with: only 25g of flour and sugar?! How can that make 12 cakes? But we trusted the wisdom of Mary Berry and she didn’t fail us. 4-5 minutes of egg whisking later and we had ourselves enough mixture for 9 generously sized Jaffas.

whisking eggs and sugar

Before and after whisking shots – Mary instructed the mixture to be ‘pale and fluffy’, mission accomplished!

The jelly with orange rind in was delicious and we may have eaten ALL the leftovers after we’d used a cookie cutter to get perfectly sized discs of jelly. Very concentrated but scrumptious.

#GBBO Jaffa bases

Perfectly formed Jaffa bases!

#GBBO Jaffa Cakes

If you’ve seen last week’s show, you’ll know the tricky bit is the chocolate application. It needs to be smooth, shiny and perfectly cover only the top of the Jaffa. Armed with a bowl of melted dark chocolate and a couple of teaspoons (no fancy piping bags for me), I set to work…¬†And I’ll be honest, WAY easier than they made it look on TV! I’m guessing they must have been on tight time pressure because a steady hand and a bit of patience produces these beauties…

#GBBO Jaffa cake completed


Don’t want to blow my own trumpet too much BUT HOW GOOD DO THEY LOOK?! I was super impressed, even more so when we treated ourselves to a cup of tea ready for the taste test.

#GBBO Jaffa cross section

Chocolate, sponge and orange perfection

Delicious. Definitely more luxurious tasting than your shop bought Jaffas – you wouldn’t really want to eat more than two in a sitting I reckon (whereas I’ve been known to scoff a whole 12 pack of shop bought Jaffas!). But really good!

Top tips from me: make sure your jelly is a nice thick disc. Maybe about 4mm thick? Some of our discs were a bit thin where the jelly had set unevenly. And don’t use salted butter to grease your bun tin! Unsalted all the way.

#GBBO Jaffa cakes

Just needs a little bit more gloss, and they’d be fit for Paul.

I can’t encourage you enough to try this recipe – quick, easy and cheap. Winner winner.

Right, now I’m ready for Week Two of #GBBO… Will I be up to the challenge of the next technical though?