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I must agree with Ms Riley - Jaffa Cakes are definitely NOT what they used to be when I were a lad.
In the good old days, the sponge was quite brittle, providing a nice counterpoint to the jelly. However, a number of years ago they proudly proclaimed "Jaffa Cakes - with new softer sponge". Nightmare!
With the old recipe, the hygroscopic properties of the sponge were such that one could tell when the packet had been open for too long, because the sponge had gone soggy. One bite, and you would know whether it was safe to continue.
Then in one fell swoop, McVities managed to create the pre-stale Jaffa Cake. (I hasten to add that I personally never left Jaffa Cakes around long enough for them to go soggy - the problem arose at the houses of elderly aunts, or families who kept them for "special occasions". Weirdos.)
It took many years of trying (and many, many packets) before I began to enjoy my Jaffa Cakes again - but there remains the Proustian sense memory of "Eeeew, it's gone off" when I experience the texture.
For those who miss the older, more al dente Jaffa Cakes, I recommend the Marks & Spencer ones. Small, rectangular, with very dark chocolate, a good orange flavour, but most importantly sponge you can get your teeth into. They should definitely form part of the proposed Jaffa Cake Festival.
||I was very interested to read the comments about Bourbon biscuits.....I was berated by my (12 yo) daughter when I bought square ones (which were awful actually)....a Bourbon has to be rectangular...and we are in agreement that Morrison's Bettabuy ones are second to none ! She, like me, is an addict. Better a Digestive than a wrong shaped Bourbon.|
May I also comment on Jaffa cakes....they aren't a patch on the ones I remember from my youth. They do seem to go stale before you open the packet....BUT I have discovered Asda's cheap range ones....yummy!!
Anji in Stockport
|Nicey replies: Anji,
You raise a number of important and topical points. We were only discussing the very issue of incorrectly dimensioned Bourbons last night. Indeed if they are not the regulation size and shape then they probably have a poor flavour. Perhaps there is an inner council of biscuit overlords, who only permit manufacturers to use the classic shape if their biscuit meets the required standard. We had some squat little Bourbons made by Elks before Christmas and they were quite awful.
As for Jaffa Cakes, our youngest member of staff is a great admirer of the whole genre. Indeed last night at 1:00am it took three of them and some milk, before he became coherent and reasonable again. We too have tried Asda's Smartprice Jaffa Cakes and were most pleased with them. I am drawn to the idea of a grand Jaffa Cake festival in the style of our 21st Century Fig Fest, for latter this year.
Been out the country for a week and am shocked at the tea heresy on the site. All things in moderation I say. Anyway on a more positive note, I have been in Andorra and while over there indulged in a packet of the French equivalent of Jaffa Cakes. I think they were made by a company called "Lu" but unfortunately an oversight on my part while cleaning the apartment resulted in the empty packet being chucked out. I must say that they were superb. Thicker chocolate, jelly out to the edges with an orange tanginess the like of which only dreams are made of. McVities need to pull their finger out.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
That sounds about right. Those Lu blokes are one of the few hopes the French have, indeed they make the Figolu from the Fig Fest. I'm off on a fact finding mission to high altitude France in early February so I'll keep an eye out for them.
|| Dear Nicey,|
I am hoping you can help me and a colleague with some tea break issues we have.
Every week we are in charge of the budget for biscuits and we have been informed that jaffa cakes are not classed as biscuits so we have to buy them out of own pockets.
I am aware that they are called jaffa CAKES but as they are actually cheaper than boasters for instance, I think this is petty.
Plus, you wouldnt class shortbread as bread for instance so why class jaffas as cakes?
Do you think they are cakes or biscuits?? If they are cakes we can only buy them on birthdays so as you can appreciate I am anxious to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
|Nicey replies: I appreciate your dilemma but Jaffa Cakes are indeed small cakes. The problem does not lay with their classification, rather it lies with your own draconian rules. Simply extend them to include the very reasonably priced Jaffa Cakes, and possibly Pimms Biscuits which are like Cherry Jaffa cakes with white chocolate.
As you have expounded upon biscuit classification is a far from simple or trivial exercise, and so your own rules will need to reflect this diversity, if you are to fully embrace the world of tea time treats.
I've recently emailed McVities concerning the ongoing deabte about whether Jaffa Cakes are a cake or a biscuit. Here is the answer:
Thank you for your email about Jaffa Cakes. I can confirm that Jaffa Cakes are in fact cakes because they consist largely of a sponge cake base. They have a much higher moisture content than a biscuit which is why the texture is soft rather than crunchy. I hope this answers your query.
I hope this puts an end to it!
|Nicey replies: Thanks for that Spencer, although there is no new information in Louise's reply. I would simply add that they are called Jaffa CAKES not Jaffa BISCUITS, you see the clue is in the name.|