Who knew Jaffa Cakes could be so tricky?

Every year, just as the summer’s hitting its peak, an excitement starts brewing. Suddenly, Wednesday evenings have a new zest as people forgo beer gardens and parks in order to race home and sit in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge.

This can only mean one thing, and one thing only: The Great British Bake Off is back!

Paul Hollywood smile GBBO GIF

And along with the return of the Bake Off comes a whole heap of new wannabe, at-home bakers, who suddenly wonder whether they can do the exact same – after all, it’s just a simple matter of following a recipe, right?

So Now’s set itself a challenge – to become super star bakers, away from the TV screens.

Each week, we’ll prepare one of the technical challenge bakes from GBBO, to see whether it’s as easy to grapple with as the bakers can make it seem…

More: Meet the Great British Bake Off’s Class of 2016

We present to you: The Fake British Bake Off!

Week 1: Jaffa Cakes

Kicking off the 2016 competition in classic fashion, Week One was all about cakes and for the technical challenge, the bakers were tasked to create 12 pieces of chocolate-orange goodness: Jaffa Cakes.

(But are they truly cakes? Why are they so often included in the biscuit category? And why do people dunk them?! Discuss in your own time.)

According to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood’s guidelines, the cakes should be identical, with no chocolate running down the side.

What the judges were looking for...

What the judges were looking for…

The bakers had the added handicap of no measurement guidance, but seeing as this was one of our first times ever trying, we used a well-recommended recipe from BBC, complete with measurements and exact ingredients.

So we got started, mixing together eggs, caster sugar and flour for the cake bottom.

We forgot to pre-heat the oven…meaning that the cake mix was sitting in the tray, doing nothing, while we caught up on Celebrity Big Brother.


Eventually, they got baked fully – perhaps for too long, eek! By this time, two hours had already passed – so if we’d be going by the timings of the tent, there’d be nothing to show except:

The cakes

Nothing but cake. No Jaffa in sight

We made the filling… and took the liberty of leaving it to set overnight in the fridge. Well rested bakers are the best bakers, after all..

Despite some heating fails, things were going okay so far. However, the real trouble came when we started to combine cake to Jaffa…

Orange filling, messy

and things only got worse from there. As it turns out, hot melted chocolate doesn’t mix well with orange jelly without a fight…

Now's Jaffa Cakes

Now’s Jaffa Cakes

We’re sure Mary would approve.

Mary Berry GBBO perfection GIF

Though the look may not have been perfect, we all know that the taste is what really counts. After offering around the office, the verdict came back – and the cake base was where the trouble lay…

Lydia S: “The chocolate and jelly are great, but the base is dense!” 7

Alex H: “The base was an issue, but I loved the amount of jelly.” 7

Tom C: “I liked the chocolate. I HATED EVERYTHING ELSE. The base was both dense and squidgy, tasted like soggy bread. The jelly was really slippery, and wasn’t congealed. As a unit it didn’t work, nor did some of the individual parts! The chocolate did.” 4.

Sofia B: “The base is hard on the outside but soft as you go inwards.” 6

Lydia M: “The base is too chewy!” 6

Meaning, we received a total of 6! Not too shabby for a first try.

Jada and Nicole: Now's master bakers

Can you do any better? Send us your pics @CelebsNow