Naffa Cakes

Negroni inspired version of a classic treat

At some point, if you've worked in an office, you've had a "snack drawer". Don't even bother lying. We've all done it - and it's almost with 100% certainty that I can say you'll have had some Jaffa Cakes in there. Perhaps you've even eaten your way through one of those metre long packs. I've definitely not not done that too.

This adult version has a ground almond cake base, topped with a fully alcoholic Negroni jelly shot, covered in milk chocolate.

Caveat: I'd not recommend making then taking these to work. Unless you work at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce of course.

Makes 12


For the base

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 4g baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted then cooled
  • 75g Agave nectar
  • Pinch of salt
  • The zest of 1/2 an orange

For the jelly (you'll have some left over)

  • 5 leaves of gelatine
  • 50g caster sugar
  • The zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 150g water
  • 75g vermouth (recommended: Antica Formula)
  • 75g Campari
  • 75g gin

For the topping

  • 250g milk chocolate


  • 12 hole cake tin
  • Serrated knife
  • Pastry cutter, of a visibly smaller diameter than your cake tin (to cut the jelly with)
  • Thermometer

Before you begin, get the oven pre-heated to 180 degrees.

Make the jelly

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. While that's happening, put the water, caster sugar and orange zest into a pan and heat until it reaches boiling point. Let it bubble for a minute or so, then take it off the heat to cool slightly. When the gelatine is ready, squeeze off the soaking water and drop into the hot syrup. Mix this together, then pour into a jug.

Measure the temperature; you want it to go below 78.5 degrees so you don't heat the alcohol too much. When it's there, pour in the vermouth, gin and Campari.

Take a baking dish that's at least 2cm tall, and line it with cling film to make it easier to remove later. Start pouring in the jelly mix; you want it to be just under 1/2 cm thickness. No need to be totally accurate, but make sure it's not too thin / thick or you'll get a disappointing result. Place this in the freezer to speed up the setting time.

Make the cakes

Place the ground almond, baking powder, orange zest and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then add the egg. Combine to a paste consistency. Add the butter, and combine again until everything is evenly spread - it won't be really smooth because to the ground almond.

Prepare the baking tin by buttering it. Place around 1 tablespoon of mix in each tin hole, then smoothen the tops as much as you can. We'll be cutting the tops off later.

Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 15 minutes, turning once, until the tops are golden.

When time's up, take out the tray and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cooled cakes onto a wire rack then carefully slice the tops off with a serrated knife. You want around 1/2cm for the cake.

To construct

Place the sliced cakes back into your tin. This will help stop the chocolate running over the cake base, making them look a bit more like the real thing.

Take a pan of water and bring it to a simmer. Place a metal bowl over this to create a bain-marie, and add your milk chocolate to this. We're not tempering here - we're after a softer finish, so just melt the chocolate until it's liquid.

Finally, take your jelly out of the freezer. It should be set, and may have some ice crystals on. No problem. Cut discs with your pastry cutter, and place onto each cake as centrally as you can.

Working quickly, as your jelly will start to set it immediately, pour about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate over each cake and gently rotate the tray to get an even finish. You'll need to repeat that with each cake. Use a fork to get that Jaffa Cake style criss-cross finish, then leave to set in the tray.

To release them, take a small palette knife, and heat it over your hob. Carefully scrape the edges of the set chocolate, then remove and enjoy.

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