Ralph from Madison, WI (2017 Week 1: Cake)




Madison, WI

Baking Challenge

Jaffa Cake

Give your cake a name based on the ingredients and decoration – and tell us about the origin of your recipe.

Artisan Jaffa Küchlein. Mary Berry’s sponge recipe uses butter only for greasing the pan, and I found that very un-Wisconsin. So, I went with my traditional recipe for a sponge that includes melted butter. We call that a "Wiener Masse" in German. That is pretty much your traditional sponge – yolks, whites and sugar beaten together in a double boiler until, yes, "ribbon stage" after which you add butter and flour. Makes for a light but not dry base. The jelly layer is made from freshly pressed orange juice, cooked with zest, which was then taken out again. The zest adds a bit of bitterness, which is nice. I used a nice Austrian milk chocolate and tempered it with semi-sweet chocolate pieces.

Tell us about your proudest moment – or humble failure – in this week’s baking challenge.

I loved how clean the jelly cutouts were and how well the sponge turned out. But will I ever be able to get chocolate on a piece of cake and make it look good? I used a biscuit cutter as a mask for the chocolate (so it wouldn’t go over the edges), but the chocolate didn’t care. And I had chocolate not just running down the edges but also my fingers and face.

Describe how you added a Wisconsin twist to your creation.

Oranges aren’t exactly in season in Wisconsin right now, but most of the other ingredients are. Butter, flour, eggs, are all local. When I think Wisconsin, I think artisan and attention to the process of making food, beer, cake, etc. I am German, and that resonates very well with me, and that is how I tried to make my cake.

How did you do?

Absolutely lovely.