This weekend Eric (son 2) made an observation about Jaffa Cakes. Everyone knows that opening a new tube to eat one or two will always end with the inevitable consumption of the lot, accompanied by a warranted pang of guilt. But should we feel guilty? Jaffa Cakes are pretty small and there are only twelve in a tube. If you clumped them all together would they really add up to more than a generous slice of cake?
Let the adventure begin.
A fresh tube of McVities Jaffa Cakes, refrigerated to aid deconstruction. Hmm, that work top needs a bit of Danish oil...
We tried a few different methods for separating chocolate from sponge. The slice and prize technique proved most successful.
Peeling the jaffa discs away from the chocolate proved trickier. Here Eric struggles to get a clean separation.
But soon we had mastered a technique I like to call snap and release. Break the chocolate's back and the orangy roundel becomes much less resistant to freedom.
Fairly soon we had our constituent parts, ready for construction and weighing. We were conducting importing scientific research and it felt only right that we should record every detail.
We decided to build 'slice of cake' shaped cake out of the cakes. Here I am slicing the point at the front - I'm guessing it was about 30 degrees. We didn't have a protractor though, so I might be wrong.
We forgot to take a picture just after installing the central layer of 'jam'. It was a combination of excitement (it's really starting to look like a slice of cake!) and annoyance (the orange jelly was almost unmanageably sticky).
Here you can see the completed slice just before the chocolate is applied. We now have two layers of orange 'jam' and a rising sense of excitement.
The chocolate stage was by far the trickiest. We toyed with melting it down and then trying to pour it back on. To be honest we doubted the chocolate would actually melt, and we knew for a fact that the cake wouldn't stand up to any sort of application process. We decided to just piece the chocolate together like a jigsaw. On top this worked fine; the back was trickier. At one point Eric declared "We're going to have to just pile it up like the zombies in the World War Z trailer trying to get over that wall". A bold analogy, but apt.
Our Slice of Jaffa Cake Cake was completed. We did have a few bits of chocolate left over so I sprinkled them on as a final artistic flourish. It didn't really help raise the aesthetic appeal. We didn't care. Our slice weighed 122g. McVities claim a single Jaffa Cake weighs 12.2g. Somewhere along the line we lost 24.4g of material. Maybe McVities are lying to us (another experiment looms perhaps?)?. Or, most likely, our £5 IKEA scales were rubbish.
At 12cm long, 6cm high and 5cm wide I would say that Eric was absolutely right. The Slice of Jaffa Cake Cake was no bigger than your average portion of birthday cake and probably way smaller than the servings you'd get in your local tea shop. We can now rest easy knowing that a tube of Jaffa Cakes can be consumed guilt free.